February 17: Scattering Seed

Read Luke 8:1-15

Scattering seed can be a very imprecise, maybe you could even say wasteful, means of planting. Just try sowing grass seed on a new lawn. Not all of the seed ends up in the choicest of locations.

When you gather a handful and cast it out, you will discover that some areas end up densely seeded and others sparsely. Meanwhile, some of the seed even lands in areas you wouldn’t choose to place it if you were being more selective.

Nevertheless, this is the illustration used by Jesus in this parable. He is describing how the Word of God came in contact with the lives of thousands of people to whom He ministered. Some of them were hardened and would not respond. Others would show signs of initial germination only to later die out. Only some of those in the crowds that gathered would reach maturity and produce a crop. It is certainly a worthwhile endeavor for us to ask what kind of soil we represent.

But I want you to also pause and think about how carelessly broad the ministry of Jesus was. His words fell upon people who made no pretenses about faith and also upon those who were only a flash in the pan. Only a minority in the crowd made true lasting commitments. But that was okay. The offer was for all, and, therefore, this broad scattering of the message was the best.

As you extend the gospel of Jesus, you will likely discover an innate tendency to carefully discriminate between people. You will likely err on the side of selective and careful planting among people you deem to be safe and hopefully responsive. Resist that temptation as you remember that the offer is for all, and that some who will respond might catch you by surprise. Sow broadly, even wastefully, knowing that there are some who will respond.



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