God is always at work in our lives – loving, teaching, guiding, and correcting. The Parable of the Sower uses the metaphor of seed and soil to help us understand why we aren’t always able to hear God’s voice or put what God shows us into practice.
Forming a close relationship with Jesus is a two way street – he initiates by scattering the seed and then waits for us to respond. Is the soil of your soul ready to receive him?
Spend some time in this text:
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘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. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.'” – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Spend a few moments in silence. Take a few deep breaths and feel your body begin to relax. When you feel your mind becoming quiet, offer a simple prayer to God, thanking him for his presence and inviting him to speak to you.
A parable is a story with a deeper meaning. Jesus used a lot of parables as he taught those who followed him. What does this tell you about Jesus?
Do you like to garden or work in your yard? How does the story about a farmer relate to you? If Jesus was going to write a parable specifically for you, what might he use as the premise?
Farmers put in long days of hard work. However, even all of their effort doesn’t actually make their crops grow. What does this teach us about rest? Furthermore, sometimes we can’t see immediate results from our efforts: talk to God about a time when you felt like your efforts to accomplish something were eaten up by the birds. What did you feel about that experience? How do you feel about it now?
The parable describes a path in the middle of the field. A path is a trail packed down hard over time. Where are the hard places in your heart? How did they get there? If you are ready, spend some time today releasing those places into the Spirit’s care.
Is there something you’ve heard about God or how he works that seems too good to be true? Talk to him about those things and ask him to soften your heart to believe.
What is it about the gospel or the kingdom that you struggle to understand? What do you do with your questions or confusion?
Offer your thoughts and questions to God and ask him to speak to you.
Offer a prayer in words to God. Thank God for his presence.