The parable of the sower is not supposed to be a critique of the one who sows seed or his agricultural methods. It’s what happens to the seed afterwards that the parable is concerned with. Let’s take a quick look:
The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. “Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:3-9; Mark 4:2-9; and Luke 8:4-8)
His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word (logos) of God. “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. (Matthew 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20; and Luke 8:11-15)
One more thing to consider before getting to some implications and questions. There are those that seed AND those that water. (1 Corinthians 3:6) Whether or not all seeders should be waterers and vice versa is a question for another time, but one thing is clear, whether one sows the seed or waters it, God causes the growth.
I’m pretty sure that most of you reading this will understand the meaning, but here are some implication/application questions:
1. Should we Christians, believers, followers of Christ, etc., be following other seed sowers around picking up their haphazardly tossed seeds from the side of the road and putting them in good soil?
2. Should we set up scarecrows or do other things to drive the birds away? (Genesis 15:11)
3. Should we protect those who have received the word, from conditions or enemies which are always seeking to take it from their hearts?
4. Should we move those seeds which fell into the rocky soil into better soil? Should we add fertilizer?
5. Should we do what we can, after they have received the word with joy to protect that joy?
6. Should we try to keep these new receivers of the word from entering into environments which are harmful to growth?
7. Should we take the seeds which fell amongst the thorns and transplant them in less dangerous and occupied ground?
8. Should we teach them how to deal with worry, money, and the pleasures of life so that they don’t get choked?
9. Should we just uproot throne patches before sowing?
10. Should we just be more careful where and how we’re tossing seed?
Should we just let happen what’s going to happen?