Today’s Daily Light
The Reign of the King (Con’t)
Knowing that the ways of the King are counter-intuitive, Jesus painted many word pictures of the kingdom in the form of parables, starting most of them with ‘the kingdom of God is like…” Each is a kernel of truth about the overall mystery of the King’s reign.
So..in these examples of the kingdom parables, let’s ponder the counter-intuitive nature of kingdom movements.
Sower and the Soils Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
3-9 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. Hewho has ears, let him hear.”
18-23 Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed as sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
No matter how well you cast the seed of the gospel, there will be four types of responses. Though other responses initially look promising, only one type of soil is good and bears fruit. If we expect better results than Jesus, we are deluding ourselves. We must be prepared for both fruitful and non-fruitful responses.
It is impossible to predict where the good soil will be – only God knows. We only discover the good soil by sowing the gospel message to a lot of people! By contrast, the human way we intuitively use is to try to pre-determine who will be receptive and then focus all our energies there. The result is that we are often disappointed in the end. However..when we find good-soil people, we will see their lives multiplied 30,60 or even 100 times.
What applications does this Matthew 13 parable have for us…the Sower and the Soils?
We need to pray for the Lord to prepare the seed we sow so that some of it lands on good-soil persons. We need to pray for all people types, all people-soil types. Thus we pray for the seed of the gospel that we will sow and we pray for the soil that it will come in contact with, knowing that in ‘both’ it must be the work of the Holy Spirit for we are just a sower. We need methods that enable us to sow the gospel to a great number people, not pre-judging who will respond, so that we find the fruitful ones. We must not be distracted by the many who will respond but prove unfruitful.
We need to focus our non seed-sowing time on discipling the fruitful obedient people By investing training time in the small percentage of good-soil people we will maximum the opportunity for Kingdom growth. It is the plan of the King that we seek to reproduce seed-sowers and trainers. Unfortunately, the intuitive way we often default to is to pre-judge who will respond (thus not sowing enough) and then spend most of our time with people who walk in disobedience and prove unfruitful. Such intuitive ways actually hinder us from cooperating with the King’s work in the lives of people around us.
Thus we must sow to all people..to everyone. Again, you must remember, it is the King’s work to prepare the soil. Ours is to sow. And then we must identify the good-soil and make sure they get training (being discipled). Note that not all of us are equally skilled in both sowing and training. The important thing to regard is that if there is no one else to train/disciple people who have made a commitment to join the reign of the King…then we must/have to stick with them and provide training/discipleship.
Great King…give us all inspiration and desire to begin sowing the seed of the good news of the gospel. Let us share the great treasure that we have found in YOU! Amen