To make good soil you need the rubbish of yesterday and the refuse of today.
Reference: v.8 "Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (NIV Bible)
Explore: You may have already picked up that I am not a huge fan of gardening. That being said, I have observed my parents enough to know what makes a good garden… it's all in the soil. If you consider the composting process which breaks down food matter to bring nutrients to the soil, you could almost say that it takes longer to make good soil than it does to grow the harvest! To make good soil you need the rubbish of yesterday and the refuse of today.
Jesus says that the good soil is the person who hears the word and understands it (v.23). What makes the person good soil? Maybe all the rubbish and refuse they have been through! It is often the person who is going through difficult times that is more open and receptive to the gospel. When we hear the word 'good' we think of people who are already moral and have everything together. However I believe that often the good soil, those receptive to hearing the word, are those who feel like rubbish and are going through a lot of crap in their lives. They are willing to acknowledge that they don't have it all together and we are all in need of God who loves us and shows us grace and mercy.
Application: This passage is an encouragement to me as I aim to be a witness in my community. Even the farmer sowed the seed in all kinds of soil. He kept throwing the seeds out there hoping to see a harvest. We need to keep putting the Word out there, wherever we go. We may think the soil is bad or not receptive, but our definition of 'good' is often very different to God's definition. Let's not limit our outreach to the people who are our friends and we feel comfortable with, but acknowledge that all people need God's word, whether they look open to it or not. You never know, the good soil may look bad on the outside but has had plenty of rubbish composting on the inside!
Prayer: Lord, we often put our own set of values on people we consider 'Christian'. However you mixed with the best and the worst in society. Help us to do likewise. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.