90. Seed

Luke 8:4-8

One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Reflect

Jesus told a parable. Now, a parable wasn’t just a story with an ethical message – that would be a fable. No, a parable was a unique kind of story that Jesus used to communicate with his listeners. A parable was a story designed to elicit, or create, a heart response from the listener. Parables were designed to connect, not just with peoples’ minds but with their hearts – to make them stop, reflect and Think. And this parable did just that.

A farmer sowed seed and four different things happened to it. Some fell on the road, some on rocks, some amongst weeds, and some on good soil. Depending on where it landed depended on what happened to it. The seed on the road was trampled underfoot and eaten by birds. The seed in the rocks lacked water. It sprouted and withered. The seed amongst weeds grew but was choked by the weeds. And finally, the seed on the good soil grew and eventually produced a huge crop.

Jesus would go on to explain this parable to his disciples, but it’s worth stopping here and soaking in this parable. Read it or listen to it again, but this time, think about how you feel as you read or hear it. Imagine you’re someone who’s heard about this guy called Jesus – a great speaker and healer – and you’ve travelled out of the town into the countryside to hear his message. When you get there, this is the first thing you hear – a parable about a farmer who sows seed:

One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Do

Today, simply let this parable sink in. How will you respond? What does your heart tell you?

Pray

Holy God
Speak into my mind and heart today.
Let your words be sown richly within me.
May they stir me, provoke me and prompt me.
Let me have ears to hear what you’re saying.
Lord, I am listening.
This day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

If there was a chance that people wouldn’t understand parables, why do you think Jesus used them?