This week, as we continue in our Luke series, we will be using The Parable of the soils (or sower) as inspiration for our devotionals. If you find this helpful, please do share it with anyone who may find it helpful. Today, we ask the question, who is the sower, what is the seed and what does this mean for me?
‘While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed…’ (Luke 8:4-5)
‘His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.’ (Luke 8:9-11)
Lesson: The sower is Jesus and the seed is His Word but He continues this sowing ministry through His people.
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As I write this, we are approaching spring-time. As the days grow longer, I hear people talking about planting seeds and I think to myself, I really should get round to that! If, for example, I want some beautiful sweet peas, I have to sow the right seeds, at the right time, in the right soil. Likewise, In Jesus’ Parable of the soils, we have three basic requirements for a harvest as he tell us of a sower, who sows a particular type of seed, the fruitfulness of which depends on the quality of the soil - the conditions. Today, let’s seek to simply understand who is the sower and what is the seed?
Who is the sower?
How, from this text would you discern who the sower is? I think we can infer from the context that the sower is Jesus; we read earlier in the chapter, that ‘Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 8:1). Jesus’ ministry is illustrated in this parable as He goes around sowing the seed of His teaching with various responses.
However, although Jesus remains the ‘great sower’, He works through His people to continue this ministry of sowing the seed of the gospel and God’s Word. In this chapter, we see that His disciples were with Him in order to learn from Him and so, in time, become effective sowers themselves.
What is the seed?
What is the seed that Jesus and His church sows? It is defined as, ‘the good news of the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 8:1) and ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God’ (Luke 8:9) and ‘The seed is the word of God.’ (Luke 8:11). In essence, Jesus’ seed Is His teaching about how to enter the Kingdom of God through faith in Him and how to live as citizens of the Kingdom. For us, according to our gifts, roles and opportunities, we are to ‘sow’ the gospel and biblical teaching in any way that we can. My sharing this devotional, for example, is my effort and sowing and you, prayerfully, need to do what you can.
The sower is Jesus and the seed is His Word but He continues this sowing ministry through His people. As those first disciples who were with Him learnt from Him how to do effective ministry, are we learning to be good sowers of good seed in the places and relationship that God has given to us?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? (I hope we can see how important this question and practice is to this week's study of being good soil for God's Word).
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our Luke series, we will be using Luke 8:1-15 as inspiration. Here, Jesus teaches the people, and illustrates His ministry, by using the parable about a sower and different kinds of soils. For Jesus, having crowds was not success or His aim; Jesus wanted to teach them that to follow Him and to be truly successful they needed to become ‘good soil’.
Please read Luke :8:1-15
What were you particularly struck by in Sunday’s message from Luke 8:1-15?
What would you say is the central teaching of this narrative?
How does Jesus’, and how should our ministry, follow the pattern of this parable?
What do the three poor soils have in common?
Why do the things mentioned - the devil, testing, worries, riches and pleasures - stop God’s Word from being fruitful in our lives?
How do you, or could you, ensure that you receive the good seed of God’s word into your life each day?
SIV - Do we see that if we are good soil, we will have a crop? This means that we will have seed to sow. How could you better sow the gospel and God's Word?
SIV - What does this parable teach about how we should expect people to respond as we share the gospel and do we have any experiences of this?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?
Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s come out of our time in God’s Word.