Matthew 13:22, NIV
But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Ground varies in quality. Seed sown in good ground will produce a larger harvest than similar seed sown in poor quality soil. Jesus illustrated His parable of the sower by talking about ground that was hard, ground that was stony, ground that was full of thorns and thistles and finally good ground, which would, of course, produce the best harvest.
When you look at ground, the difference between good and bad ground is obvious and we can choose where to sow. But not so with human beings! Some of the most unlikely people may eventually turn out to be very good ground.
None of us would have thought that John Newton, the notorious, blaspheming slave trader could possibly be good ground. But when the power and presence of God changed his life he was totally transformed and became one of England’s greatest hymn writers. He understood the message. His life was good ground. He learnt from personal experience just ‘how sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer’s ear.’ It meant, for him, the difference between a lost eternity and the second part of his life which produced enormous fruit for the Kingdom of God.
John Robinson, now a member of an Ellel team, was once a gang member in the shadow lands of teenage rebellion and rejection. When he heard the message, he understood it and now has a remarkable story to tell of how God changed his life. His life was good ground.
The point is often missed that in this remarkable parable, Jesus defines good ground not by what it looks like from the outside, but by whether or not the hearer understands the word. It’s not our job to judge the quality of the ground – it’s our job to sow the seed!
The sower scattered his seed on all types of ground. So must we. Who knows what God has been doing in the heart of a person, making them ready to receive the seed and understand the message at a critical moment in their life? If we fail to sow the seed, that moment may be lost.
Action Line: Start praying for the young people of your community. Among them will be some John Robinsons who will truly understand the message. But how will they hear unless someone tells them?
Prayer: Help me Lord to be always ready to sow the good seed of your Kingdom into the lives of those you show me. Forgive me for judging the potential of a person by the outside appearance. Amen