This is a famous parable told by Jesus that even carries a title – ‘Parable of the Sower’. And in the latter several verses of the Bible reading, Jesus explains what the allegory means, equating the different types of soil with different attitudes and situations.
It’s a challenging reading, in that, for among other reasons, there are three types of people who accept the Gospel (rocky soil, thorny soil, good soil). But two of those three types eventually kill the Gospel. Only in the ‘good soil’ does the Gospel flourish.
But for our purposes in this reading plan, what is noteworthy is the conduct of the sower. The text indicates that the sower sowed. And to those who aren’t farmers, that sounds like some serious stuff, maybe digging into the ground and planting a seed in there, adding a bit of water, and then covering it up with dirt and tamping it down.
But if that was the case, this sower was one of the most careless sowers going! Some fell on the path, some over on the rocky patch, some among thorns, and some even on good soil.
It’s not the case. Sowers sow. And to sow is to plant seed by scattering. That’s why several more modern translations substitute ‘scatter’ for ‘sow’. The Scatterer scattered! And what happens when you scatter? Some of the seed lands on the path. And some on the rocky patch. And some among thorns. And some on good soil.
This is the epitome of generous evangelism. The Scatterer - you and me – scatters the good news of Jesus Christ and His love and His atonement and His resurrection all over the place – online and at the mall and in the grocery store and at the bus stop and over a coffee and by the water cooler – and it lands all over the place! What a mess! What a beautiful mess.
What a beautiful picture of our evangelism.
Our generous evangelism.