By Scripture alone – God’s voice in the world
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 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.” (Luke 8: 4-8 NIV)
Additional passage: Matthew 4: 1-11
The fields are pretty bleak in the winter.
It is hard to imagine that anything could ever grow from them again come spring. But whilst a bare field might look barren to us, a farmer sees it as a potential harvest.
Jesus is just like this farmer. Unlike us, he sees exactly what a seed of God’s word will grow into. There are, however, always a few obstacles before a seed can properly take root: the path, rocky ground, the thorns…
Jesus does not use this parable as a warning from these dangers, but as a promise about God’s Word when it falls on good soil. This parable teaches us a few things about how God nurtures his “Word seed”:
- It takes time. If you want to grow a plant, there are no shortcuts. How do you react when you do not see the fruits of your labour straight away? How do you react when God’s message does not strike like a bolt of lightning but instead grows at a snail’s pace?
- It is easy to lose patience, but slow, arduous growth is to be expected. Are we ready for it?
- A seed will only grow well on good soil. Are we doing enough to prepare the “soil” in our churches?
- Sowing reaps a large harvest. From one seed comes a hundred new ones and each individual seed needs space and air to be able to mature.
Whilst living in Africa I would see hundreds of Christians hurrying to Church with a Bible tucked under their arm. Here we tend to leave our Bibles at home on the bookshelf. We mustn’t attract any attention! That is our fear. So why are we not proud enough of our Bible to show it to others?
The Bible has played a crucial role in our society over the centuries. Biblical phrases such as “freedom” and “justice” are now constitutional requirements. A great amount of charities are built on biblical values. We should bring the Bible’s message to the ploughing field with joy and with expectance, confident in the knowledge that it is God’s seed and that it is unique.
24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4: 24-30 NIV)
- for the power of God’s word that has been working among us for 2000 years.
Intercession (specific names if possible):
- for the way we sometimes sheepishly tiptoe around talking about the Bible in public. We often focus on the problems with God’s Word rather than on its power and vitality.
- for those who publicly preach about God’s word
- for those who have recently allowed the seed of God’s word to begin to grow in their hearts. For those who are experiencing difficulties in their growth
- for Christians who are spreading God’s word using the media (internet, radio, TV etc)
Writen by: Thomas Hanimann, Schaffhausen