5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
After watching the fun of tilling I was ready to take a rest. Just as I was dozing off here they came with seeds and plants. This garden is getting exciting, I can’t wait to see the fruits of all the work.
When gardening, and planting from seed, it takes experience to know the exact depth in which to put the seed. The number one reason that seeds fail to germinate is because they are planted either too deep, or too shallow. If they are planted to shallow, they won’t have enough moisture to soften the hard outer shell. And if they are too shallow, the birds of the air can easily find them as they are exposed by heavy rainfall and wind:
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (NAS)
Sometimes when planting seeds in my garden, a few of them will accidentally fall on the untilled ground around the garden. If you look carefully you can see the birds pecking the ground, and gobbling up the wasted seed. Sometimes, we can become careless with the word of God. We take for granted what the Lord has been saying to us, or what we know from scripture. Through carelessness, the devil is able to come (like the birds) and snatch up the precious seed of God’s truth before it can germinate in our hearts. This is what happens so often with unbelievers, who, having heard the gospel, let it fall by the wayside, where Lucifer sends his demons to rob them of salvation.
Another thing to look at when planting seed is the quality of the seed. Sometimes I have bought vegetable seeds that were on sale, part of me always looking for a bargain. But manytimes, what seems to be a bargain is actually old, outdated seed. It is seed that has gotten so old and dry, it cannot germinate. This is like some teachings that comes from churches which is old, stale, and man-made tradition. Or it is like sin, which the devil makes it “seem” like it’s a bargain. Sin is never a good deal; it only leads to death; no life can come from the seed that has been spoiled by sin. It will never germinate in men’s hearts and bring forth fruit, because it has become worthless.
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”
So, what is good seed? How can you tell which seeds are ones that will go in the ground and die, and bring forth life? To understand this mystery, one needs look no further than Jesus himself. Jesus was the seed planted by God; God’s seed was the choicest seed of all, and the seed (Christ) died that he might bring forth new life. After Jesus was buried, he was raised from the dead. Jesus is the healthy seed that brings forth new life, and bears fruit:
But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor.” (NKJ)
Jesus did not love his own life; he was fully surrendered to do God’s will. Jesus said that those who want to follow him must follow his example. To be a healthy seed like Jesus requires that we hate our life in this world. Whatever we do, must be done with an eternal perspective in mind.
It was foretold by God from the beginning the seed of the woman would be the one who would crush the head of the serpent (Satan) for what he had done in tempting man to sin, and break fellowship with God. Jesus became that good seed through his perseverance, and the honest relationship he had with God.
Jesus was that “grain of wheat” which fell into the ground, and died (through crucifixion). Having died, Jesus became the source of life giving salvation to all who trust in, and rely upon him. Through his death and resurrection, he produced much grain (the body of Christ; his disciples). Indeed, Jesus was the “seed of the woman” prophesied about in Genesis chapter three:
Dear Lord, as we think about think about Your love and spreading Your love help us plant in the good soil. We pray that the hearts we come into contact with will be ready for Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.