Today’s author is Prince of Peace member, Barry Brahier.

In Mark 4: 1-34 the writer tells of Jesus’s parable of the Sower and the explanation of that parable Jesus gave to his disciples. There’s also the parable of the mustard seed and Jesus’s admonitions and advice for living in the faith. In other words, there’s a lot to think about in this passage, which is my typical reaction to virtually any passage of scripture.

Photo by Dylan de Jonge on Unsplash

I focused on the parable of the Sower. Seed is sown upon four different kinds of ground, and each is separate from the other. And the sowing seems to be a one-time action, with an outcome that is final. To me, this passage seems to say faith must either:

  • Never, ever arise in a person (seed sown on the path)
  • Be accepted, but only until it is challenged by life and then it disappears not to return (seed sown on rocky ground)
  • Be accepted and begin to thrive, but get choked off by the cares of this world not to return (seed sown among the thorns); or
  • Be accepted and thrive forever (seed sown on good soil).

The way Jesus speaks to the crowd, it seems to me that when God sows seeds of faith, most of those seeds have little chance of thriving. So, God is counting on those few people who are the good soil to bear fruit as much as a hundredfold and keep doing it all their lives. If I was in the crowd on the seashore hearing Jesus speak this parable, and knowing how distracted I get and how my faith suffers as soon as life becomes challenging, I don’t think I would be among those few good-soil people, ever. It’s kind of depressing!

But it’s not that way! Why? Because, unlike the people on the seashore that day, all of us know the end of the story: Jesus is our Redeemer. This means God, the Sower, KEEPS SOWING. And the Spirit can work in us so we can become good soil. Every day each of us, through God’s grace in Jesus, is made new. All are given opportunities every day to be good soil. And the kind of soil we were yesterday doesn’t have to carry over into today. Now that is something to get excited about!

Dear Lord,
With how our world is today, we know you need us to have faith and bear fruit. Please come near when faith seems far away. And please sustain our faith through the distractions and challenges of life and give us opportunities to bear good fruit. Amen.