Many perhaps of you, unlike me, have read this Parable from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 13: 1-23, Mark 4: 1-34, Luke8: 48) before. You’ve also probably attended a Bible Study class about it as well. You may also be aware that in Luke’s account, Jesus was specifically asked to explain this parable compared to the others (v9). (Personally, I would like to believe this to be an important daily learning, not to mention a task to be taken notice of by the apostles.)
But apart from learning this Parable in the context of the Gospel, how do you understand it? More importantly, are you applying it? How about in the face of problems and trials?
If however you have not read about this Parable, I encourage you to do so that you may share with my personal insights and learnings.
- The Hardened Soil. When you’re suddenly interrupted by your classmate, office mate or friend while rushing for a deadline, you so desperately want to get over and done with, do you relate with him/her with grace? Could this person see Jesus from you in this brief, one-on-one encounter? Or did you just blow up a probable one-in-a-million chance of exhibiting a reflection of your Lord and Savior?
- The Rocky Soil. How about in those occasions when you’re asked by your parent/s to run an errand, a chore you totally don’t feel like doing, but did so otherwise? Are you willing to do so again when asked so now? How about that demanding, irritating, unappreciative colleague or classmate who asked a favor, needed your help; did you do so from the heart or only because you think (hoped) he or she will treat you better after this?
- The Thorny Soil. Remember that day when you worked so hard to the point of skipping meals, saying ‘no’ to your favorite concert, ‘no’ to the long awaited get-together with friends for a noble cause (i.e. family gathering, a Bible Study). Only to find out your efforts were in vain… the kiss-ass employee got the promotion. You were still not allowed to go with your barkada to the long planned beach outing. You were still unappreciated…
I remembered an episode of ‘The Biggest Loser’, a TV program for overweight contestants to lose weight. I watched this girl sweat, push harder, run farther only to weigh herself that night and found out she gained a pound! She was heart-broken…
- The Good Soil. Do you know about God’s love for you? Are you sharing this with people who don’t know the Lord? Do you make sure you bear His fruit everyday?
Jesus through this Parable talked about the different types of soil and as a personal understanding the reality of being in all types in different personalities and/or encounters in life. Perhaps you may be in good soil when it comes to giving but in the thorny one when it comes to being patient.
This Parable stresses that the call to be His disciples is no joke. We are asked to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses and to follow Him. But He reminds us that He came for the lost, the broken, yep that’s right—sinners like you and me.
In John 16: 33, He said “In this world, there will be trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” He isn’t unaware of your circumstances. And He is perfectly aware of what your ‘YES’ to Him entails.
We urge you now to examine yourself, check your heart. You may perhaps be ‘the silent type’ who wants to deal with problems “alone” or may be afraid to disclose things to others from previous hurtful experiences. Don’t let your past dictate your future. Sooner or later, even if you may not want to, it will find itself floating beneath the surface. And this will cause a major struggle to people who love you, even to your future spouse. Save yourself from the hurts! Confess and lift it all to God. Be accountable to a Godly, trusted friend who can encourage and edify you.
As believers, let us claim Philippians 4: 13, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”. Feed your mind with His Word, water your hearts with His promises and be rooted in His grace.