Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Seeds and Soil

People all over the place had heard about the great teacher in town, and they wanted to hear Him teach! Jesus was out by the lake, and the crowd on the shore got so big that Jesus had to get in a boat and row out a bit so everyone could hear Him! He taught a lot of things using stories called parables. At one point, He said, “OK, listen up! There was a farmer who went out to plant some seeds, scattering them throughout his fields. He covered a lot of ground, and parts of his farm were better for growing seeds than other parts. Some of the seeds fell on the pathway. All that happened was that the birds thought the really nice farmer was giving them some food! They swooped down and ate the seeds and they didn’t get the chance to grow. Other seeds fell on dirt with rocks underneath. The crops grew quickly, but the soil wasn’t very deep, so as soon as the roots hit rock, the plants burned and withered in the heat of the sun because they didn’t have space for the roots to grow. Other seeds landed in a part of the field that had a lot of weeds and thorns. The weeds grew with the crops and smothered the good plants because both the weeds and the plants wanted their roots to get deeper. The weeds kept the good plants from making a crop. The rest of the seeds landed on good soil. The farmer had plowed the ground and worked hard to get it ready for his seed, and the seeds in the good soil grew. They produced a bumper crop! Pretty soon, some of those seeds grew 30 times more, some 60 times more, some even to 100 times more than they had been at first!”

Then Jesus said, “If you can hear me, hear what I’m saying!”

Later, Jesus was alone with His disciples, and He explained a bit more. He told them that He used parables sort of like a code. If you really think about what is happening in the stories, it’ll make sense. But so many people see but don’t really get what they’re seeing. They hear, but don’t understand the words. If they did, they might realize they need to be forgiven for their sins!

But the disciples still didn’t quite get all this about a farmer and seeds and a path and birds and rocks and weeds and dirt. It’s a nice story, but what was He talking about? There had to be a point to the story! So Jesus said, “Don’t you get it? No? Then how will you understand any of the parables I tell you? The farmer plants the Word of God. Some people hear it, but like the seed on the path, the devil takes the Word away from them and they don’t give it a second thought. Some people hear the good news that they can be saved from their sins, and they are excited and accept the gift! But then they have hard times and want more, and pretty soon they decide maybe this faith thing wasn’t such a good idea after all. Their faith doesn’t last long because they don’t have the roots to make it grow. Other people hear the good news, but they also hear other messages from other places that disagree. Lies from the world start coming in. Pretty soon they don’t know what to believe and their faith gets smothered in lies. Then there are the people who hear the Word of God and accept it. They let it take root in their lives, and they spread it around so it grows 30 times, 60 times, sometimes even 100 times what was planted!"

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