Matthew 13.23 NLT
Jesus said, “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
The parable of the sower mixes realism with huge encouragement. It confronts us with the fact that when the word of God is spoken there is a wide range of reactions. Some people just don’t want to know. Others are incredibly excited for a short while and then forget all about it. And yet others receive the word and start applying it to their lives in a serious way but are then distracted by the pressures and temptations of life. Anyone who has been involved in sharing the Good News of Jesus will recognise that all of that is an accurate reflection of life. However, and here’s the massive encouragement, when God’s word finds a home in the right soil it doesn’t merely cause growth to happen but leads to an enormous harvest. How amazing for a farmer to look at his crop and realise that this is 30, 60 or even 100 times more than he planted.
This is a really important parable for us because it is so easy to focus our attention on the discouragements of life. At times it would be tempting to give up when you see people rejecting the word of God and wandering away from the faith. Over the years I have often felt a deep personal pain when I have seen people reject the Lord. It is very easy to blame oneself and to draw attention to all the inadequacies of the church. This parable puts the many discouragements of life into a bigger context. It reminds us that the miracle will happen, and there will always be those in whose lives the word of God goes deep and has a spectacular result. I can think of countless occasions when that has happened and quite often it has been in the most unlikely situations.
The conclusion has to be that we should continue to work hard for God, even when the going gets tough and people are not responding in the way that we had hoped. As Paul said to the Corinthians, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
QUESTION: In what way does this parable encourage you?
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to faithful in serving you today. Amen