This is classic a scenic view: A vast rice field full of green shoots swaying in the wind. Behind the field are two sleeping giants, mountains firmly guarding the rice fields as if sentinels on the watch. Peeping behind these two giants is the brightly lit sun pouring forth the warmth and glow of its power seemingly showing supremacy over everything. Still above the sun are the blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds freely fleeting above as if telling that there is nothing that could touch them and command them to come down.
Remember that scene?
I used to draw that as a child when I was asked to draw something. I would even add a small and humble hut somewhere in the rice field. Those were good times. It was not the best drawing I could do, I had a classmate or two who could definitely do better but it was a view that I really wanted to see.
A few years later, I was able to glimpse the scene in real life. It really was awesome. It was euphoric. I even saw the farmers planting the seeds in their fields. I had the opportunity to see them in action and felt a deep gratitude for them. If not for these farmers, we would have gone hungry. Their movements need to be so precise and calculated that a wrong move would ruin the growth of the rice plants and mar the beauty of the scene.
Farmers are great people. They are hardworking, skilled and precise.
Yet there was once a farmer who was the opposite of what should be done. He might be clumsy or just plain ignorant of farming. Instead of planting the seeds in the soil where it should be, he threw the seeds all around. He scattered the seeds in the air. Would you believe that the farmer is God.
In His parable of the sower, Christ shows how God is preaching the gospel like a sower who throws it everywhere. He throws it without regard to the direction He is throwing it. He is haphazard and never even thinks about how the seed is sown as long as every place in the vicinity is seeded regardless of whether it has the potential to grow the seed or not.
This is how the word of God ought to be preached. It ought to be preached without any regard to the location, situation or person who would receive it. It ought to be given out regardless of form: through our way of life, through our words, through our writings, or through any other means that will propagate God’s word, without any regard as to whether it will be received well, destroyed or mocked.
The recipients after all are varied as the parable would tell us. There are those who hear but easily doubt and destroy the seed. There are those who hear and receive but are halfhearted and fall easily away into temptation. There are still those who hear but have been constricted and constipated by the cares of this world. They would rather care for their riches than for God’s richness. Finally there are those who allow the seed to be cultivated and grow in their hearts. These people are the ones who receive the whole word and take it up as true.
Yet, the parable tells us that the sower merely sows and allows the ground to do what it wants with the seed. The sower did not force the wayside or dig the seeds deep into the rock bed or pluck out the weeds and thorns. He gives as freely as rain because that is His gift of salvation; that is His Gospel. Take it because it is free and it is fruit bearing.