Mark 4: 3-8, “He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 ‘Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.’”
Jesus’ method of teaching can at times be confusing, so confusing, that even the disciples questioned what He meant. Jesus used parables to engage the listeners in something they could understand – every day life events. The parables were also meant to stimulate our minds and to make us think for ourselves.
God’s word is available through out the world. With today’s technology and the ability of travel, there are very few people who cannot be reached by God’s word. The tough part is how do they (we) hear the word?
The parable above tells us how the word of God is heard and received. Jesus later explains the parable to His disciples in Mark 4:14-20. He tells them the seed which was sown on the path is like a person who hears the word of God but Satan comes and takes the word from them. I call it “the inaudible” truth. Ever tried to give advice to a brick wall? Those words just splash right back in your face. Without a willingness from the listener to allow the words to penetrate his/her mind, the Word of God is quickly lost, like throwing seed to birds.
The seed which is sown on the rocky places can be an example of how some of us respond to God’s Word. Have you ever heard an inspirational sermon which fills your heart with joy and motivates you to change the way you think or to change your actions, but the moment you step out of the church and life hits you, all is forgotten. There is no core within to attach and therefore the Word of God cannot take root. “In one ear and out the other” is an old adage which describes this portion of the parable well.
The seeds among thorns describe those who hear God’s Word, know it is the truth, but disregard it. They know what is right and wrong. They know their lifestyles do not line up; but, the desires for sin are greater than the desire for God. His Word is choked out by the thorns around them.
The final seed sown, on good soil, is accepted and lived out on a daily basis. It is the seed that will change the world. It is the seed that spreads the Word of God by living it on a daily basis.
What are you? Maybe a little of all at various times in your life. When you hear God’s word, ask Him to show you how it applies to you. Stop worrying if Susie two rows in front of you is listening and start listening yourself. What is God trying to convey to you in the scriptures? How we hear the word and put it into practice in our lives matters tremendously to God.