11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
In the above verses Jesus is explaining the Parable of the Sower to His disciples. Matthew 13 also has this parable, but only mentions the heart as noted in verse twelve above, not the noble and good heart in verse fifteen above. Mark 4 has this parable as well, but no mention of a heart is made at all.
One thing Jesus makes clear in all three versions, the seed that is being sown is the word of God. Many Christians are reluctant to share (sow) the word of God, thinking they will be considered Jesus Freaks or Bible Thumpers or some other negative appellation. Read through the parable in all three versions and it says nothing about the sower of the word, only about those receiving it. However, there are a number of verses on how you and I should and should not go about sharing the word of God. I present my favorite first and it is very positive.
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
And one that is very cautionary
7b A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Next from Proverbs two that encourage and are also cautionary
Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
When you act as a sower of the word keep the above in mind, but remember the final results are a result of the hearts of those who hear and of the actions of the devil who takes away the word from their hearts when the word is sown on a hard path. Then there are those who are glad to receive the word, but only believe for a while. Next there are those who are so caught up in their day to day life they cannot grow in the word, they do not have the time or won’t take the time. Finally there are those who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
This parable offers great advice for us, how to grow in the word, and produce a crop. Number one we have to hear the word, number two we have to retain it: hold it close, and number three we have to persevere. In persevering, we put our faith in God’s word and in the word made flesh, Jesus into action in our lives and sharing the word with others. We have a ministry of reconciliation via God’s word with the message of reconciliation.
So we know what we are to do and how we are to do it. The question for each and every one of us, will we embrace the ministry of reconciliation God has given us.