What kind of seed are you? It still echoes in my mind, the imprint of this night forever preserved in my memory. I had heard the parable of the sower before- and I remember thinking up what I thought was a really deep answer to the question. I said something like, “Well, I think that sometimes I get choked by the weeds, but I have made it to the fertile soil where I am able to be fruitful and understand God’s Word and do what it says.”
First, if you are unfamiliar with this passage- the parable of the sower actually appears in several of the Gospels- Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
I am posting the passage from Matthew 13.
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “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. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Later in the chapter, Jesus explains the meaning of the parable:
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Now, my youth pastors zinger that has made me think about this passage in a different light- and still remember 10+ years after high school. Our youth pastor said, “I don’t want you to think of yourself as one of the seeds, but as the one who scatters seed. Instead of focusing your thoughts and energy on your own journey with God- be looking for opportunities to share about Jesus with those around you- and allow God to use you to plant seeds of His Word in the hearts and minds of your peers at school.”
As a high schooler, this was such a transformational thought for me. I think partially because in high school- and at that stage of life- we tend to be more me-focused. And I had never really thought of myself as someone God could use like that in someone else’s life. It was so exciting! I remember being humbled by this revelation he shared, because this thought had never crossed my mind. I talked about Jesus with others, but wow, I could spread seeds- and maybe those seeds would find good soil and grow- by the Grace of God.
And remembering this story makes me thankful for my youth pastor. A man who lives with passion his love for Jesus and his commitment to his family. And who planted a seed in my life that I have never forgotten.