“Again, Jesus began to teach by the lake. . . . He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said, “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. . . . Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times. . . . Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, receive it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” (Mark 4:1a, 2, 8, 20)
We’ve been listening to Jesus tell His story about a farmer who sows his seed. The farmer is God and the seed is the Word.
This week we finally get to the good soil. We’ve heard about the path and the birds. We’ve heard about the rocks and the sun. We’ve heard about the thorns. Last of all, there is the seed that falls on good soil and produces a bountiful crop.
What makes soil good? The farmer prepares it. He breaks up the soil and removes all the rocks. He gets rid of all the weeds. He uses fertilizer to enrich the soil and add nutrients.
How does God prepare you to hear His Word? He uses His Law. The Law of God shows you your sinfulness and your need for a Savior. The Law commands you to love God and love your neighbor, but you know that you have not been loving to others. The Law condemns you as guilty and deserving of eternal death.
When you are crushed by the law, when the law breaks you apart and pulverizes you, then the Good News of the Gospel comes. Yes, you are a sinner, but Jesus Christ loves you and died in your place. You do not need to fear death and punishment because Jesus has taken care of everything for you. And this leads you to bear fruit in your life.
The reason why the farmer plants the seed is for the grain it will produce. He doesn’t just want rows upon rows of good-looking plants. He wants those plants to bear grain. And they do, up to one hundred times what was planted.
Jesus cares for you and gives you growth so that you produce a crop- more grain, more seed. Remember that the seed is the Word of God? As you grow and mature in your faith, you will be the one sowing seed, speaking God’s Word to others around you. Just like with the different soils, sometimes people will hear the word and not respond, because of Satan or persecution or the worries and cares of this life, but in the heart of those the Lord has prepared, the seed will sprout and grow and bear an abundant crop.
Loving Father, thank you for preparing my heart to receive your word. Grant that I bear an abundant harvest in my life for Your Name and Your glory. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.