Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Sower

"Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
Where am I in this parable? The traditional interpretation says that I'm one of the soils, and I should try to be the good soil -- not that soil is able to choose what kind of soil it is! Still I've generally accepted the premise that I'm the soil, probably all the kinds of soil at different times in my life.

But today as I meditated on this parable a striking thought occurred to me. What if I'm not supposed to be the soil? What if I'm the sower? If the parable started, "The kingdom of God is like a sower who went out to sow..." I'd be certain of this interpretation, but even without that hint I think it's right. This parable isn't just a picture of Jesus' mission in the world -- it's a picture of what the kingdom of God is like, what are lives will be like when we're living the kingdom of God into the world.

So if I'm supposed to be the sower, what does this parable teach me? If I imagine myself as a sower, I'm probably going to be very careful with my seed. I'm going to watch where I sow. I'm going to make sure I only place seed on good ground where I know it will bring a good return. But Jesus says, "No! Sow your seed freely."

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Give without expecting anything in return. Sow your seed everywhere you go. Some will fall on bad ground and nothing will come of it, but some will fall on good ground, maybe ground you didn't even realize was good, and it will produce thirty and sixty and a hundredfold!

4 comments:

LutheranChik said...

Mel, I think you made a good hiddush.;-)

Andy said...

And I didn't even know what a hiddush was....

LutheranChik said...

One week in my Torah/Talmud/Mishnah class and I'm a rabbi, LOL

From what I understand, a hiddush is a new insight on a text.

Badger539 said...

no, melancthon, you are not the soil or the sower, you are the seed in the good ground that produces abundantly, even miraculously.

I too have been thinking about this parable, perhaps I will write about it in my blog in the next day or two. (badgerthoughts@blogspot.com)