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.”
Jesus would often use stories to convey spiritual truths to his disciples and to his listeners. To the person who just wanted to listen, it was just a simple story. But to the spiritually hungry people, there was a message hidden in the story that they could understand.
Jesus uses a common job, agriculture/farming, to explain how there are four types of people and responses when they hear about the kingdom of God.
The “footpath” is the hardhearted and stubborn people who hear the good news about Jesus and don’t want anything to do with it.
The rocky ground is the people who are eager to follow Jesus at first, but when a trial comes, they quickly abandon Jesus.
The thorny soil or among thorns is the people that also accept Jesus but then get caught up with anxiety about life, money, or other desires that distract them from Jesus.
The fertile soil is the people that receive the message of Jesus, obey it, and reach out to others. Their life is fruitful.
Christians also have a responsibility to be the sower. It doesn’t matter who you interact with. You should always be scattering the good news about Jesus because you can’t tell by the outward appearance what type of soil that person is.
This is an encouragement to be the sower and the good soil. Which soil are you?
Written by D. Sanders