It is a unique situation -- it is the only parable He explained. And He implied it was a key of some sort, saying if we could not understand this parable, we would have considerable difficulty understanding any other parables.
I've always thought of this parable as being about evangelism -- sharing my journey of faith with people who aren't following Jesus. I am supposed to live a life that is simple and real, no matter who I am around, and through this, The Sower (God working in and through me) scatters seeds willy-nilly, not paying much attention to where the seeds fall. Then, if someone is "good soil" the seeds of the life of Jesus and His Kingdom will grow. The upshot is this: it is not my responsibility to worry about the soil quality; only to scatter seeds.
I was pondering this and praying the other day when I came to a sort of new (for me, anyway) perspective on this parable.
Maybe I am the soil.
What if The Sower is Jesus and the seeds He is scattering are His words to my heart?
He is scattering seeds like that all the time, but the question is, what is the condition of my heart?
Is my heart like the "footpath" -- hard, compressed, & flattened from people walking on me? Have become so jaded I can't believe good will come of anything? If so, I can see how the enemy of my soul could snatch away any possibility for growth.
Is my heart like the "rocky places" -- shallow and flighty; unable to support roots?
Have I come to the place where, after I hear something from God I am all excited about it for a little while but then when times get rough I give up really easy?
Maybe my heart is like the place of "thorns" -- where I hear God clearly, and things grow deep...
...but as they do the "weeds" of worries and materialism choke out any possibility of fruit being produced in my life.
So I've been asking myself over the past few weeks what I can do to make my heart "good soil" -- where I hear what God has to say to my heart, and really accept it; really own and incarnate it in my life? I haven't come up with any real answers except to ask God to make me that way. Sure, I can try to avoid weeds, and look out for becoming shallow, and maybe try not to let myself get too packed down. But I don't think that is enough. I've heard it said:
The absence of war is not peace.I think it will take more than my effort in avoiding these (although it is good to avoid them) things to make me good soil.
King David of ancient Israel wrote a lot of songs and poems about life. He was fond of saying things like "Search me and test my heart God -- see if there is any wicked way in me, and then root it out".
So I guess I have been spending time allowing my heart to reflect on this, and sort of ask:
God, please make me good soil.For more stretching of the analogy on making good soil, here is a good agricultural link. What do you think about these suggestions? Are there any good correlations here?
I really want to bear fruit -- I want my life to make a sweet and nourishing difference in the world around me, now and into the future.
In his book To Be Told author Dan Allender says:
God is the Potter, and we are the clay. Even the word human -- derived from the Latin word humus, meaning "dirt" -- shouts loudly about our origin. We are dirt. The name Adam (Hebrew, 'adama) means "red," the color of clay. God shaped, molded, and formed us to reveal something about himself. He is a Being who loves to reveal and who invites us to join the process of revelation by calling us to ask, seek, and knock. God always intended for His children to join Him in completing creation. We are not inanimate entities that merely reveal glory but living stories that are meant to create glory.That's what I want my life to be like.