The power of the Seed and Shema
Luke 8: 8, 15 “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown … But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
After all that, after seed falling on the path, the rocky ground, the thorny soil, still … it is okay because if you scatter enough seed some will land on good soil.
v8 When he said this, he called out, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’
There is power in the seed, power to multiply a 100 times more than what it was when it was sown. That’s like saying if you scatter the seed and it lands on good soil, just one seed, one presentation of the gospel can be enough to produce a 100 member church which then has the capacity to reap a 100 other 100 member churches resulting in a 10,000 movement. One more time and you have won a city for Jesus!
Now that is worth the waste of the path, the rocky soil and the thorny soil isn’t it?!
So where is the good soil? Where are the noble and good hearts? Of course we don’t know at first glance.
But the Shema helps.
The Shema is in Deuteronomy 6:4-9
It’s the first passage children recite. It is prayed twice a day and at the end of festivals.
It starts with the word Shema = Listen or Hear. “Hear, O Israel the Lord your God is one.”
It means to understand, consider, allow the words to sink in and then decide to do something with them.
When Jesus calls out this phrase he was shouting a Jewish idiom. They were fully aware of what he is referring to. They knew their prophets like Ezekiel:
Ezekiel. 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
Listen, understand and then do. That is the Shema. That is the noble and good heart. That is the good soil and this is where we get the most lasting reaping.
The question is can we continue to be Shema disciples and Shema churches.
Are we teachable? Who is speaking into our life and questioning our heart, words and actions?
You know whether you are in an accountability relationship or group when you have given permission to others to question your motives, your attitudes, your words and your actions in a teachable style, in order to be the best you can be in life. BUT you then listen to those questions, you understand, you take them in and make the mental changes and then you go and take courses of action that are then necessary. That’s being accountable.
If someone is above being questioned. If a leader is too big to reach then they are perhaps too big.
A Christian, a Church with good soil is one that is teachable. That means at times they will be wrong, they will make mistakes, they will need to apologise, change their mind and take another course of action. Anything less isn’t accountability. Nor is it Shema. It would indicate they have no ears to hear. Perhaps that is why there is no lasting crop a hundred-fold.