(Say that three times fast!)
Saturday night I sat down and read the Parable of the Sower in Mark Chapter 4. Sunday morning, the Message was the Parable of the Sower! Don’t you love when that happens? Life is filled with tornadoes and hurricanes, and I wonder if I’m doing okay. Then I’ll get a “confirmation” like that. It made me feel better. And even though I’ve heard the story often, there is always something new to learn!
As you know:
The Parable of the Sower
4 And again He [Jesus] began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that someseed fell by the wayside (path); and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Jesus then explains the Parable to His disciples:
14 The sower sows the word of God. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside (path) where the word of God is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
The story is about the different surfaces that the seed falls on. But I heard a new twist on Sunday. (Well, new to me anyway!)
If you are planting a new lawn, you are not going to put one seed very carefully, then another, then another. You are going to liberally throw them all over the place. You are going to sow more seed than you need.
(Jesus IS the Word of God. –John 1:1)
I thought of another scripture from Isaiah 55 and how it relates to this same story:
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
This is one of those “doesn’t that contradict what I just read? If God sends out His Word into the earth and it accomplishes what He pleases, why does some of it get eaten by birds?” And then it occurred to me–that is His purpose. It’s one of those times that God’s ways are higher than our ways. God has given us free will, so that we can choose whether we want to believe Him or not. Some of the seed falls by the wayside.
I always use the example that the law of gravity is true, but there is a higher law–the law of lift, which explains why birds and airplanes fly instead of “falling down.” This happens often when reading the Bible–there will be places where it seems to contradict itself. I find that it is either because I don’t know the “higher law” yet, or sometimes there are things missed in the translation and if I go back to the original Hebrew it suddenly makes sense.
Now onto Swords:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:17
Okay, stay with me now, I’m going to try to explain what’s in my head. :-)
He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares —Micah 4:3 (also Isaiah 2:4)
A plowshare is the part of a plow that digs into the soil. This prophecy is talking about stopping war, and instead using the instrument for “farming.”
But what about the Sword of the Spirit that we already have? Shouldn’t we use that to dig into the soil of our hearts?
Or what of the seed falling by the wayside? Maybe that seed/word/sword becomes the instrument to dig up the path so it can become good ground?
So I hope this has come full circle. It makes sense in my head, and I am trying to type it so I can explain it!
If you have another idea, let me know! Leave a comment.