Rev. Dr. Quintin L. Robertson
First Baptist Church of Philadelphia
I have heard many sermons preached on the parable of the sower. Each time the emphasis was on the soil. It has been said that the parable could be entitled the parable of the soils. But it is not; it is entitled the parable of the sower because the message is about the farmer sowing seeds.
In the story, a sower sows seeds indiscriminately. Some seeds fall on the path (wayside) where there is no soil, some seeds fall on rocky ground with little soil, and then some seeds fall on soil that contains thorns. In the aforementioned cases, the seeds are taken away or fail to produce a crop. However, when the seeds fall on good soil they grow and yield a harvest.
Those who study Scripture recognize that to fully understand a pericope (a set of verses that form one coherent unit or thought) it is best to read what comes before and what comes after those verses. We also come to each passage with prepared with our knowledge of other Scriptures and our personal theology formed by our experience with God. With these two focal points let me share a meditation on “The Sower.”
Luke 8:1 states, “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God” (NIV). This verse is the premise of the parable. Jesus begins the parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed” (Luke 8:5 NKJV). Then he explains that, “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Thus, verses 5 and 11 correspond with Jesus’ actions as described in verse 1.
As believers we follow the example of Jesus Christ. In essence, we are Christ’s representatives in the world today and as members of his body we should do as he did—proclaim the good news of the kingdom. And that good news is contained within the seed that God has given us, God’s Word. In the apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth he notes that it is God who supplies seed to the sower (2 Corinthians 9:10). God gives us God’s Word as the seed we should share with others.
When Jesus explains the parable to his disciples, he states that the seed is the Word of God, and in the parable itself Jesus shows that the seed that is sown is to be spread in all places, indiscriminately. In essence, we are commissioned to share the Word of God with all people without judging the “soil” that receives the seed. Therefore, sow the seed of God daily in the lives of others you encounter and let God give the increase.