Tuesday, September 6th, 2022
The Gospel of Mark records one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, that of the Sower. While there are countless sermons on the various soils that the seeds fall on, verse 3 (“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.”) is often overlooked, but holds a profound message. Jesus explained to the disciples later in Mark 4 what the parable meant: the seed is the Word and the soils are conditions of the heart that determine the growth of the seed to fruit bearing. But who is the sower? We are! Anyone who spreads the Gospel is a sower— they scatter the Word like seeds. But notice something about the sower: he is not concerned about where his seeds fall. He sows them indiscriminately. The sower sows them everywhere, trusting that it is not his responsibility to ensure a soil is good before planting. Thus, though some of his seeds fall on poor soil that do not yield fruit, some do. The sower understands that he will never know the true make up of a soil before planting a seed; he just needs to plant it everywhere and trust God to bring the fruit. Today, recognize that the Gospel is to be scattered by all and to all; do not select those who you think will be most receptive to it and withhold it from others. In the end, it is God who changes hearts, not us. We just plant the seed.
“Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” — Mark 4:1-8