Mark 4:1-20 012923
Have you ever tried to plant a garden? Being as we are in the country, I am guessing that most folks have tried their hand at gardening a time or two.
I have certainly tried to plant a garden, and what I found is that it is hard work. You can't just go outside and throw some seed on the ground and hope for the best. It takes a lot of cultivating. You have to break up the ground, plant and bury the seed-making sure the seeds are not too close together, and in a nice even line. You have to create your foot path, and ensure the seeds get plenty of water, not too much sun, and have the right PH level.
Once you have done all that, that's when the real fun begins. You have to constantly check for weeds that will invade your garden and keep the critters away from attacking your plants. You have to prune the plants to get bigger and more fruitful plants. For my master gardeners out there, I am sure that I am missing a few steps, but I think we all get the point that there is a lot involved in planting a garden.
It's a lot of back breaking, knee hurting work. However, when you get that first tomato or eggplant or cucumber it becomes addictive. You want to grow more and more.
In our text we are going to see Jesus teaching the famous "Parable of the Sower". Jesus will use gardening to illustrate a deeper spiritual truth. We will see the sower throwing seed in four different locations, three of which will not yield fruit. However, one of the places the sower throws seed will grow fruit that will multiply thirty, sixty and a hundred fold.
What made the difference in how, and if, the seed grew?
What was the deeper spiritual meaning behind this parable?