I was reading the parable of the soil today with our group and and we realised some interesting things. The first being the sower who is scattering the seeds so recklessly. This image of a farmer being reckless is not the one that we have come to know. Farmers worked diligently planting carefully to ensure that as many seeds as possible would grow. We see that so much of the seed goes completely to waste. If the fertile soil is so little of the field than the plants that are growing are few in number.
The answer to all this was in breaking down the leading roles in the parable. Suffice it to stay we started with the man in power. The sower is the God figure in this parable. God is the one scattering the seeds. That leaves only two items left the soil and the seed.
I myself have used this parable as a story about missions and planting but this parable is meant to show us something about God’s kingdom. If this is about the kingdom of heaven what is it that God could be planting? As we thought about it only one answer seemed plausible, the Gospel of Christ. The good news of His saving grace is being planted.
Well folks, that just leaves the soil. If God is the sower and the seed is Christ our roles are in the soil. There are 4 kinds of soil kicking around. The ones that don’t receive the seed the crows snatch it away, these are the ones that Satan holds. The next are the one that fall on shallow soil and die in hardship because there are no roots. These are the nominal Christians of our society. They are willing to claim the Christ unless there is some heat to take on the subject. If there is some heat to take they wither and die. Then we have the plants that are growing through the vines. These Christians are the ones who have Christ in them but are trying to earn their faith. They struggle through life trying to work through one thorny vine after another. Eventually they find themselves overcome by the struggle. Finally the ones that land on good soil. They accept the seed and grow in the light.
Great we know who everyone is but why the reckless God? Why scatter something as precious as Christ haphazardly around the field? For those reading don’t see negligence here but love and mercy. God being all knowing could most certainly plant the seed in a specific portion of the field knowing that it would grow. The only problem is that makes God unjust. For Him to exclude the rest of the field is to never offer them the hope. God knows they are going to reject the seeds in the various different ways. But His mercy comes from the fact that He tries to give them Christ regardless of knowing that they will never be able to grow the seed they have been given.
Which one are you? Which soil are you? Is the seed of Christ’s gospel planted in your heart and growing freely? If not consider turning to the Lord in prayer and asking for the growth to occur and for you to be fertile soil for the Gospel.