Thoughts on sowing
Mark 4: 1-9 “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. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” 9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
- The farmer is carrying seed, the life-form, small yet powerful, he will receive a harvest, this is why he is sowing, there is expectation and desire.
- The farmer scatters indiscriminately. Not in neat rows. The strategy is to throw the seed not to first think where it is going. There doesn’t seem to be much mapping of the area going on: paths, shallow soil, thorns and weeds, good soil, they all got the seed. A committee would have highlighted where not to throw the seed and that is where the farmer threw it.
- The farmer seems wasteful of the seed. He seems to have more seed than he needs; there is an abundance of seed. He hasn’t counted it out. It is a picture of a farmer’s hand sowing liberally and almost carelessly.
- The farmer isn’t perturbed by the failure of the seed to grow or by the birds, the sun or the thorns that act as enemies against the growth of the seed. Everywhere gets the seed. There is no failure in the scattering.
- The farmer yields a harvest. Sometimes it is 30%, 60% and even 100% of what is sown. They are all called a crop. There is no disappointment in the size of the crop.
- The farmer is Jesus and it is us. The seed is the gospel, the Word of God. We need:
- To have expectation in the seed
- To be indiscriminate with who receives the seed.
- To be liberal, large, extravagant (fields not patio pots!)
- To keep going at all costs.
- To be happy with the harvest that comes.