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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Miracle Seeds

The Miracle Seeds

(Luke 8:5-15)

Jesus told a story (a parable) to His disciples about a farmer who went out to sow seeds hoping for a nice harvest. Some of the seeds landed on hard ground and the birds quickly ate them up. Some landed on rocky ground but when they sprang up they withered since they lacked moisture. Some of the seeds landed among thorns and the thorns chocked them out. But some fell on good ground and had plenty of room to grow. They sprang up and grew and yielded a big crop.

Jesus’ disciples ask what the story means, and this is what Jesus tells them. “The seeds, Jesus tells them, are the Word of God.” (Luke 8:11) “The hard ground that some of the seeds fall on is the heart of a person who hears the Word, but then the devil comes and takes the Word out of his heart, lest the person should believe and have eternal life.” (Luke 8:12) People who aren’t much interested in the Word and don’t think it is important are most likely the hard ground folks. When this indifferent crowd hear Gods’ Word they don’t take it too seriously. It makes no sense to them and they quickly forget what they have heard. The miracle seeds never have a chance to get into the ground of their heart, much less grow!

“The rocky ground that other seeds fall on is like the heart of the person who, when he hears the Word, he receives it with joy: but since he has no roots, he believes for a while, but then when the temptations come, he falls away.” (Luke 8:13) This person Jesus is describing perhaps pretends to be a good Christian but doesn’t take the Word seriously. He doesn’t see a problem with cheating on his wife during the week and going to church on Sunday. He takes advantage of others and does whatever he wants to do without worrying about what God would want. Those miracle seeds struggle to grow and take root in his life, but so many rocks are in the way. Alas, the poor seeds are never allowed to make it!

“Now the thorny ground that the seeds fall on is like the heart of a person who, when he has heard Gods’ Word, he goes out and is choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and is too busy with other things to bring the fruit from the seeds to maturity.” (Luke 8:14) Isn’t Jesus describing a person here who is busy shopping and playing video games and watching football and baseball and working two jobs and exercising and checking his messages and going to the movies and worrying about his portfolio and—the list goes on and on. Really there’s nothing wrong with these activities, but our persons’ schedule is so filled up with stuff that there is no room left for God. No room to pray and no room to read the Bible. The life giving seeds are never given a chance, never given space to grow and produce a crop. Never given room to sprout into eternal life.

“But when the seeds fall on the good ground, this is like the people who, when they hear the Word, with good and joyful hearts they hold onto the seeds tightly and keep them hidden in their hearts. And with patience they bear much fruit.” (Luke 8:15) Jesus is describing the people who belong to Him. Jesus wants us to desire and value his Word. He wants to plant his powerful seeds in our hearts. He wants to wait while his Word works its’ magic and we are born again! He wants us to give Him our heart. He, like the farmer, plans to cultivate it. Plow up the hard ground. Pull up the thorns and dig out the rocks. Fertilize the ground and make it ready so the seeds have room in our hearts to grow up into a life giving harvest.

This little story of Jesus’ wouldn’t make much sense if the seeds that the farmer went out to plant weren’t special seeds. But the seed (the Word) is special. The Bible has much to say about just how special Gods’ Word really is. We will just mention a few passages here that refer to the Word and its’ special place. Scripture says that “Faith (or believing) comes by hearing, hearing the Word” (Romans 10:17) The Word (the seed) has to be special if faith comes by hearing it and eternal life is given to those with faith.

Some may think that the Bible – the Word – is just an ordinary book like other books, but Scripture says that the Word (the seed) is “living”. “For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword …”(Hebrews 4:12) The Bible also says that the Word was made flesh and lived among us. (John 1:14) Of course this is referring to Jesus, who is called the “living Word”. David loved Gods’ Word and had much to say about it. Here in Psalms he writes: “Your Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105) These are just a few of the many scriptures that tell us that Gods’ Word can change us if we let it.

After reading Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed, what lessons can we take away? For me, I think the story teaches the importance of opening our hearts to God and to His Word so that the Word can grow and do its’ magic in our lives. This parable says that the devil takes the seeds away, “lest the person should believe and have eternal life.” (Luke 8:12) Right there Jesus is saying that the seed (the Word) causes a person to believe and believing brings eternal life. What importance the seeds are in the story!

In the natural world we have seeds that grow into apple trees and seeds that grow into tomato plants. Seeds that grow into giant redwood trees and seeds that grow into stalks of grain. We have all kinds of seeds on this earth. But have we ever thought about the seeds we have that cause people to believe and receive eternal life? These seeds (the Word) are something out of this world, wouldn’t you say? Shouldn’t we call them “miracle seeds”?


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