The Sower

Published by DonDavidson on

If you have a loved one who has abandoned the faith, I feel your pain. My wife and I raised our son as a Christian, but when he grew up he rejected the faith. I pray for him constantly—that God will show him the Light, reveal to him the Truth, and let him feel His Love. But I don’t feel guilt. And neither should you.

When I was a baby Christian, Christian friends told me it was my duty to convert people to Christianity—to “bring people to Christ.” Has anyone ever said that to you?

Well, that’s not your job.

Do you recall Jesus’ parable of the sower? It’s found in Matthew 13:3-9, with Jesus’ explanation of the parable at Matthew 13:18-23. (See also Mark 4:1-9 and 4:13-20, and Luke 8:4-8 and 8:11-15.)

Some of the seed scattered by the sower falls on the road and is eaten by birds. Some falls on rocky soil, producing plants which wither in the heat because they lack deep roots. Other seed falls among thorns and the young plant is choked out. But the seed which falls on good soil sprouts and produces a plentiful harvest.

As Jesus goes on to explain, that seed is the word. Some hear it, but don’t understand it. Some hear it and embrace it, but they have no root—they don’t read the Bible, they don’t pray, they don’t grow spiritually—so when tough times come they abandon the faith. Some hear the word, but they are more concerned with the things of this life than they are with God and His ways, so they fail to grow. And some hear the word and fall in love with it, studying it, praying it, and growing into wonderful, mature Christians.

Why the different outcomes? The quality of the seed is not the problem. Nor is the outcome determined by how the sower scatters the seed. Everything depends on the quality of the “soil,” the hearer.

We do not control the soil. We merely scatter seed. We tell people about the Gospel, we explain it to them, we answer their questions. What they do with it is not within our control. To the extent that anyone controls the soil, God does: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44)

So what should we do when someone rejects the Gospel? First, we must stand up for our faith, for if we are ashamed of Jesus in this life, He will be ashamed of us in the next life. (Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26) Second, we must be kind, even to so-called enemies, for Jesus tells us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) And finally, we must pray for them, for prayer can work wonders. God can change people, just as he changed Saul the persecutor into Paul the evangelist. (Acts 9:1-22)

By the way, my daughter was also raised as a Christian. She is graduating from seminary this month. I suppose she was good soil.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *