God’s Word is waiting to take root in our hearts
Based on the Gospel of Matthew 13:1-23
What’s a parable? Jesus told many parables when he was preaching and teaching.
A parable is a story about simple ideas from daily life to explain things that are hard to understand. Jesus used parables to get people to think about what he was teaching and to change their lives.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us one of these parables. It’s the story of the sower (farmer) who went out to plant seed. Some of the seeds fell on the path at the edge of the field and the birds flew down and gobbled them up. Some seeds fell on rocky ground where they sprouted but because the soil wasn’t deep enough for roots, the sun scorched them and shriveled them up. Some seeds fell among thorns and were choked as the thorns grew. But some seeds landed on the farmer’s good, rich soil and grew into strong, healthy plants.
Jesus’ disciples thought about this and asked him what the story meant. Jesus said, “The seeds are the things I teach you – the Good News about God and the kingdom of heaven. Some people hear God’s Word but selfishness prevents them from accepting it; they are like the seeds that fell on the path. Some people welcome my words and try to follow my ways for a while, but then they give up because they say it’s too hard; they are like the seeds that fell on rocky ground. Some people hear my words, but they are so busy with other thoughts and worldly things that my words are choked like the seeds that got choked out by the thorns. Some people hear my message and let it take root in their hearts; they grow strong by praying, studying and making their lives into a rich harvest of love and happiness; they are like the seeds that landed on the farmer’s good, rich soil and grew into strong, healthy plants.”
We are the soil and Jesus is the sower. Jesus tells us the Word of God is waiting to become alive and take root in the soil of our hearts. It’s all right if we don’t always understand everything we hear, as long as we try to listen carefully to God’s Word with open hearts and think about it prayerfully. Jesus can change the soil of our hearts by his grace if we are open to his Word and let him work in our lives so that his love can grow in our hearts into a rich harvest and make our lives productive.