The Parable of the Sower

The image above is from “Life of Jesus Mafa”, an organisation that has developed many images from the New Testament in an African context. The artworks were created by a French team.

Matthew 13: 1-9; 18-23

In the previous passage, Jesus has been inside a house speaking to people, but now, Jesus goes out of the house in order to reach a lot more people. The crowd was so large that Jesus got into a boat and addressed them. This parable is unique because after presenting it to the multitude, Jesus interprets it for his disciples.

Notice how the farmer sows the seeds! There is no care taken. The farmer throws the seeds around – it flies in all direction and lands everywhere….on hard path, rock littered patch, thorny bushes and good top soil. He is not a normal farmer, he is a farmer whose methods reflect the kingdom of heaven. To be sure, the farmer takes some losses – birds snatching the seeds off the sun-baked path-way, sun scorches the young plants and tender sprouts are no match for the choking thorns – but never mind. In spite of the fair share of blows and set backs, the farmer achieves a bumper crop.

The church knows the truth of this parable. It takes the gospel into the world, hardly knowing where to cast the seed. But the church also knows that it needs to keep on spreading the gospel, preaching the gospel and showing the compassion of the kingdom. In ways that we do not know and in places we cannot see, the gospel is falling on good soil, and even now, God’s kingdom on this earth is still spreading. The message to the church is that the gift of the great harvest awaits them. The church is called upon to throw grace around like there is no tomorrow, precisely because there is tomorrow and it belongs to God.

If you look at the image above, the parable of the sower is given a different interpretation. Jesus is sowing the seeds but people are labouring, preparing the soil. The question is who around us has obstacles in their way? Are we prepared to dig deep in their lives, getting our hands dirty, pulling up roots, rocks and thorns so that Jesus’ seed can take root and harvest can follow? Are you willing to get your hands a little dirty or ‘cut-up’ for Jesus?

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