Mark 4:1-20New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Parable of the Sower
4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
The Purpose of the Parables
10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that
‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
In this parable, well known to us, the seed of God’s Word is planted in our hearts. Depending on where the state of our heart/ spirituality is, we see how the word grows through us.
This year, my wife and I decided to plant some Korean pepper seed in our back yard. When we planted the seeds, we had full expectation that all seeds will grow well. So the intention of the farmer is to have all seeds grow equally. Maybe it hurts God when the seeds don’t grow. And may times, we are more guilty that we don’t grow, rather seeing the father’s heart.
In the real life, as long as we are willing, we can see how the farmer can help us and help us.
The farmer can pick the seed up and plant it from other good soils, or cut down all the thrones that block us from true growth. However, it starts with us being determined and asking the farmer to work in our lives.
As we shared some thoughts about stewardship, from our joint Bible study, verse 17 &18 pops up.
18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.
It is interesting to see that ‘lure of the wealth’ hinders the seed to grow.
If we have the desire to grow, wouldn’t it be a perfect time for us to ask the farmer to help us?
Lord, we know how much you want us to grow. We would love to grow too. If there is anything that hinders us from growing to your disciple, let us identify our thrones, and ask your spirit to cut it for us.
We want to grow in your everyday.