Farmers are hard-working and resourceful. Farmers find a way to plow, plant, and harvest no matter what.
In a 1978 speech to Future Farmers of America, radio personality Paul Harvey shared his appreciation for farmers. He said that a farmer is somebody “willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ … Somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds. Somebody who’ll plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.”
Jesus begins one of his parables, “A farmer went out to sow his seed” (Matthew 13:3). He continues the story, describing a farmer sowing seeds that land in 4 different soil conditions. A hard path. Rocky soil. A patch of thorns. And fertile soil.
And the results are predictable. Not much success on the hard path, the rocky soil or the patch of thorns. And a bountiful harvest from the fertile soil.
Now, what kind of farmer would sow seeds anywhere but fertile soil? Doesn’t the farmer seem a bit careless here? He’s throwing seed everywhere, apparently not paying attention that some of the seed is landing in poor soil conditions.
The farmer just keeps throwing and sowing, sowing and throwing, believing that growth will come. Somewhere. Anywhere. Even, possibly, in the thorny soil, the rocky soil, or could a seed tossed on the beaten path somehow find a crack and grow?
The farmer believes so. He’s leaving no soil without seed.
And in this farmer we see Jesus. Jesus keeps sowing the word of the kingdom of God, even though it lands …
… on the stubborn and hard-hearted.
… on those whose relationships are a bit rocky right now.
… on believers with so much else going on in our lives that it is choking out Jesus’ kingdom like weeds.
… on those whose ears and hearts are open, receptive, and fertile for God’s Word.
Jesus just keeps throwing and sowing, sowing and throwing, believing that growth will come. Somewhere. Anywhere.
Farmer Jesus believes so. He’s leaving no soil without seed. No person without his saving word.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, like a hard working farmer you plant your kingdom in my life through the words of your teaching. I pray for the fertile soil of my heart to always receive your words. And that I work hard, also, to plant your word in others. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read the entire parable of Jesus in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23. You can also watch the message I preached last Sunday.