The Parable of The Sower
The One Who Sows
Luke 8:5-8 5A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Verse 5 - He Went Out To Sow
In this parable, Jesus tells us primarily about the seed; which is the Word of God. The method of distribution is a man, the sower, and he had a very definite plan and goal. I would like to look now at the sower and his plan and goal.
Like every farmer, the sower wants a good crop; a very large harvest. The Lord also wants a very large harvest; in fact, His only prayer request is for laborers who will participate (see Luke 10:2). The sower's plan optimizes the potential harvest by planning for some seed to fall short, or fail.
Some seed fell by the wayside, was trampled underfoot and was eaten by birds; yet, it still had a very slight chance to yield fruit. This example should keep us going to those places, and people, that hold the least promise. If by constant effort, even one comes to Christ then it is all worthwhile. Too often we are ready and willing to give up when we face rejection of any kind.
Some seed fell upon rock. This seed made a feeble effort at new life. One chooses to be saddened or encouraged by the result of this labor. The sower continues to sow optimistically. A feeble start may encourage some to try sowing another time, so it is with the man in the parable. The sower in the parable leaves no opportunity for fruit to be passed by because of past failures.
Thorns grow on the edges of the prepared ground; they receive much of the care intended for the desired crop. The sower casts seed beyond the edges of his cultivated ground in case some should bear fruit (the corners of the field were often left for the poor). This portion of Scripture reminds me of a time while soul winning when I was sharing the gospel with a young man of fifteen. I was very focused on the young man to whom I was witnessing. He came to the place where he was about to ask Jesus to be his Saviour and was about to call upon the Lord, when I noticed his thirteen year old girl-friend standing off to the side with tears in her eyes. She asked if she could be saved too. She was fruit from uncultivated soil, for which I praise the Lord.
Among the thorns most of the seed is overcome and choked out. The sower still casts seed in case some should come to fruition. The faithful laborer does more than sow the good ground. Jesus does not tell us, but I wonder if the sower believes that every seed of God's Word has a chance to bear fruit. I wonder if we believe that sharing the good news of Jesus Christ has eternal potential. Isaiah 55:11 is the answer, and the promise.
On the good ground, the sower gets the rewards of his labor; an increase of a hundred fold. This, of course, causes me to ask myself another question "Is the increase on all that he cast forth or only on seed cast on the good ground?" I also wonder what the yield would have been if he had not cast seed on the wayside, on rock, and amongst the thorns. My final question is for all of us who believe in Christ: "Do we sow the Gospel like this faithful servant, or are we selective with the message of hope?"
available as a pdf file