‘“And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”’ (Luke 8:4-8)
Here, Jesus is revealing to us that the seed that was being sown by the sower wasn’t the problem. The seed was good; when it was sown onto good soil, it produced.
The soils represent four different kinds of people who come to the church.
The hardened soil:
This soil was very busy; it was a roadside where many people walked. This soil can be compared to people who have no time for God. The only way they are attracted to come to the church is out of curiosity. They understand the message, but they don’t come to seek God because they don’t realise they need Him. There is pride.
The rocky soil:
These are the people who come to church but have a heart of stone, a hard heart. Because of that, although they understand, the Word of God ‘withers’ in them and doesn’t produce salvation. Some people’s hearts are so hardened by traumas, disappointments etc., and they don’t believe in anyone or themselves, but claim to believe in God. But this cannot be the case. They isolate themselves, thinking they don’t need anyone.
The thorny soil:
These are people who accept the Word of God and even show great joy for it. But when they realise the price for being saved, they allow the outside pressure to ‘choke’ or ‘strangulate’ it. So there is no time to produce salvation. They are the kind that gets excited; they say things such as: “I’m never leaving this church! I will die here in this church”… “I found my place” etc. However, after a few weeks many of these people leave and never come back. This is why we avoid working with excitement so that we don’t give people false hope.
The good soil:
These are people who accept God’s Words consciously. They don’t depend on emotion. They are simple in a good sense meaning they follow God’s Words without doubting. These kinds of people raise questions, not out of malice, but out of their simplicity, as they want to do things correctly.
The question now is which group do you belong to?
Are you just curious? Do you have a hardened heart? Are you a kind of person that allows what the Holy Spirit says to you to be suffocated? Or are you this good soil that accepts God’s direction humbly with no confusion.
In Matthew 16:25 it teaches us how to be this good soil: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Do you know how good soil is treated? After one year of plantation, they turn it over so that the next plantation becomes better than the previous one. In other words, this requires sacrifice. It’s not just a matter of receiving the seed; we must also work upon the soil. The Word of God can’t just be heard. We must make our life able to receive His Words by sacrificing our own will. This isn’t easy, but it’s the only way that we can receive God’s Word. And once this happens, much fruit will come from that seed. These are the blessings, the victories and answers we want.
This should be the group we aim to be a part of. Humble to learn, humble to accept God’s direction.
Bishop Randal Brito