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“Listen a farmer went out to sow some seed. As he scattered the seed……” Mark 4:3,4

“The farmer sows the word” Mark 4:14

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

As you may have noticed from the first two quotations above, this (in fact also an additional two posts after this) post is going to consider/reflect on the parable of the Sower. In one respect I find the title used in many versions of the bible interesting for it is called the parable of the Sower, yet most of the verbiage is centered around the seed and its interaction with the four different soils. Yet the title is appropriate for the parable because, without the sower, none of the rest takes place.

So one thing I would note, as Jesus is telling the parable and later explaining it to His disciples, Jesus does not name or identify the sower (or as other translations state, the farmer). In the various translations, neither “farmer” or “sower” are capitalized. Thus it would appear that the farmer is not a divine figure, is not God, or the Son or the Holy Spirit.

So who is this farmer, this sower? At this time of His ministry, Jesus had been teaching, healing and traveling. This was after His “Sermon on the Mount”. People were hearing about Him and coming to Him to hear Him. Jesus tells this parable about the same time frame when He sends His followers out, two-by-two. Just prior to Him sending them; Jesus makes the observation that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Jesus says that it would be good to ask for workers to help in the harvest. Of course the “harvest” Jesus is referring to is the followers, the people who will hear the Word of God, repent and follow Jesus into salvation. The workers Jesus is asking for are not just His disciples but the others whom He sends out to spread the word to the towns and later nations which Jesus did not have the earthly time to visit in physical, person.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, we must realize this is not just a parable for antiquity. There is still a great need, perhaps a never greater need for sowers/farmers who will spread the seed, the Word, to an ever growing population that has never heard or experienced the word of Christ. It is clear. We can and should be those sowers.

Let us also be very, extremely clear about one vital thing. While Jesus did not point to one individual or entity as the farmer or sower, He was crystal clear about what the seed is. The seed is a singular concept. The seed is not some, or uplifting, or from this or maybe that, or multi sourced……words. The seed is only, specifically and limited to, focused on, containing the WORD. The WORD, is the singular Word of God. It is the Word of God, spoken by God through the prophets, the Word of God spoken through Jesus Christ. The Word is not, our opinions on what is right, our concepts of who God is, our musings on what justice is. What I am typing right now is not The Word. The Word is what I quoted above and all below it is no substitute for it.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, if we are going to be faithful sowers and farmers, we must be certain on the seed we are spreading. If we want to be the workers that Jesus was asking for, we must be grounded in the Word. It is only through the knowing of the seed that we can be effective sowers of the seed; which is the Word.

Finally, what is meant by or what actions are entailed in the sowing, the planting? One way we plant the seed is by living the seed. When we live out the Word in our lives, others can see the power of the seed and wish it to be planted within themselves. In studying the Word and having some knowledge of the Word; we share the Word. We are able to connect our actions and faith to the specific aspects of the Word, allowing for those who are receiving the Word, perhaps for the first time, to take that Seed, which is the Word deep within. We abide in the Word, the Word made flesh, who is Jesus Christ. It is only by abiding in Jesus Christ, that we can faithfully and accurately spread His Word to the famished world in so much need of it.

The Seed exists. The Giver of the Seed Exists. The dire need for the spreading of the Seed exists. By the Grace of the Father, let us endeavor to be the faithful sowers of the Seed/Word of Christ bringing Glory to His Name and the Name of the Father.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, as Your Precious Son declared, apart from Him, we can do nothing. That we today, even know of Your Son and of Your Blessings throughout all time, is because of Your Wonderful Seed, Your Word. Thank You, Merciful Father, for loving us so much that You have granted us knowledge of You through Your Word. Thank You for the light Your Word brings into our lives. We pray that You’d be with us and allow us to be faithful sowers of Your Word. That through Your Spirit we would concentrate on the Word and not on glorifying ourselves as we sow it. That in living into Your Word and sowing it out to the greater world we would see the blessings of Your Word’s produce and bring glory to You by which the Word has been brought. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Son remember in your lifetime you received your good things and likewise Lazarus evil things but now he is comforted and you are tormented”  Luke 16:26

“I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”  Luke 16:27

“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”  Luke 16:31

 

As I sometimes have done in the past, I have to start this post out with a disclaimer.  I am going to use a math process of proofs in my discussion in this post.  As I am not a biblical scholar, I am even the lessor, a mathematical scholar, or barely an adequate practitioner.  So to go much behind the initial point I will try to make, in some mathematical reasoning, would sadly be beyond my competence.  Having stated that:  here we go.

As I remember back to the heady days of geometry, there was a process called a “proof” and part of that proof was made up of statements called “if-then, statements.” The logic being if this is true, then this also must be true.  If p then q.  Yet the truth is, that this process goes far beyond just the process of mathematical equations.

At least for me, I have found that the process, and the logic beyond it, has often filtered into my prayer life.  God, if you will x, then I will y.  God, I want to do x, will you please show me y, that means x is okay.  God, I am lost and in a quandary, if I could only see x from you, then I would know y (or why.).  Am I saying here, that to ask for guidance is wrong or against God?  Hardly.  What I have to watch out for in my asking, is thinking that I have no resource available to help me and have to wait for some divine sign, some burning bush, some thunderous voice from above.

Jesus is telling a parable to the Pharisees, whom the bible says were lovers of money and things that came with it.  God, through the Mosaic Law and the prophets had given people guidance about how to live:  Deuteronomy 30:6, ….to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.  Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11  The man in  Jesus’ Parable who is rich, does not follow the law while alive so is in eternal torment.  He begs that, a poor man Lazarus, whom the rich man ignored in life, but who now is in eternal paradise, be allowed to go back and warn his brothers to follow God’s law so that they use their riches as intended and not end up in eternal torment.  It is the end of the reply that Jesus says that Abraham gives to the man, that chills me to the core.  If they do not hear..neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead! (bold and underlined added)

Jesus Christ came to earth, He lived, He died (for us) and He rose again and lives even today.  While He was on this earth, He taught us how to live.  When He returned to heaven, Our Heavenly Father sent the Holy Spirit to us, to help us to understand what it is that Jesus Christ taught.  But how often have I gone to God; crying I have no idea what it is that You want.  If You would just give me a sign!!!!!  Then I would know and believe!  God I am having trouble with someone……have I forgiven?  God what should I do about this job offer? This promotion? Please these six numbers be the lottery winning numbers?  Whom are you serving; God or mammon?  Dear God, do I really have to go here…or help there? Do you love the Lord Your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and body?  Do you love others as you love yourself?

There is an enemy and he tries to get in the way, anyway he can.  He tries to confuse.  He definitely tempts us to try paths, not intended by God.  He is powerful and we do need God’s help.  We are not sufficient in ourselves.  That is one of the reasons that we have the gospels to read and the Holy Spirit to help us interpret.  I believe God does want an active relationship with us and within that relationship there is an allowance, even a desire for the asking of questions; the asking for guidance.  Yet, I also know my motives.  And if I’m honest with myself, I know that I want to get something for my own glorification here on earth; money, someone with the perfect worldly body, a prestigious title, earthly popularity, earthly power.  Even if I achieve some of those, I want more.  So I pray.  In my prayer I say, show me a sign either specifically for or against what I want.  Might God ponder and say in His reply:  “My Son, who has risen from the dead, has answered this already.  Why will you believe this sign, when you did not believe the sign which is Jesus Christ?”

Thus, may it be that we are wise enough to use the resources given to us by Our Heavenly Father.  May we take time to read the Word mercifully supplied to us by Our Heavenly Father.  May we ask for wisdom and help in interpretation through the Holy Spirit as we read and contemplate.  Please, dear brothers and sisters, it is not about us being self sufficient in our understanding of God’s Will and Jesus Christ’s teachings.  It is about understanding, that God has mercifully and abundantly supplied help for us; including, sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to come and be our personal Teacher and Savior.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for the Word, which you have so abundantly given for our wisdom.  We confess that we often do not utilize those resources or want to disregard them, instead seeking some sign from You.  We further repent, that we want to do opposite of Your teachings and ask You for permission to do so.  Pour out Your Wisdom on us, that we will take the time to read and study Your word.  Help us, Dear Father, to connect with Your wonderful Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to illuminate those things that are beyond our earthly comprehension.  That through that study, we will come to See You more, in all things in our lives, and become even more joyously dependent on You and Your wonderful Guidance.  In the name of the one who came to Teach and Save us, Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

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