Matthew 13

Take some time to read this parable:

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭1‬-‭9‬, ‭18‬-‭23‬ ‭NIV

As I read this passage, I can’t help but find myself getting bogged down in the details, but then I hear the Spirit of God say, “Watch and listen. You are missing something vital.”

I love to come up with new ideas. I love to find ways to get things done. Sometimes what I am hoping for to happen, doesn’t. That’s just a reality. Sometimes things go so much greater than I ever imagined.

How about you? I’m sure you have gone through seasons of innovation, implementation, expectation, only to see your efforts fall flat. Is it because of something you did wrong? There is always the possibility it was the wrong thing to do, could have also just been the wrong time. You can’t plant any crop at any time you want and expect them all to grow.

But notice the sower, in the parable, was determined to get the seed out. Nothing stopped him from attempting to plant. Nothing stopped him from moving forward. He couldn’t control the quality of the soil.

We get so easily discouraged when things don’t happen the way we want. But, what if, our job is to keep planting? What if our job is to keep moving? See, we can be hopeful for what God is going to do because he knows how to make his kingdom grow. 

You and I have been called to keep sowing the seeds of the Word of God. We are called to continue moving forward, working with God, so the Kingdom of Heaven is expanded. So it is known and shown.

The encouragement we should continue with is keep moving. God will produce the fruit in due time. When you step out in faith, know that God is leading, guiding, and causing his work to be done.

An example of this kind of life is found in John Wesley, the 18th Century founder of the Methodist Movement. He clocked over 250,000 miles on horseback, thousands of sermons, thousands of followers he led to Jesus. He has an incredible legacy. A phrase he used was “the world is my parish.” He would do anything he could to reach people for Jesus.

But it wasn’t always fun and easy. He had his “setbacks” many times. Being stoned, thrown out of public places, churches, made fun of, and so much more. His “failures” did not stop him. He kept pressing forward no matter what. His entire life was devoted to proclaiming the message of Christ to all he could.

Keep in mind, your obedience to sowing the seeds and moving forward is your part. You are following where Jesus is moving. But we also cannot get discouraged when people reject the message, when the fruit doesn’t come, when the soil can’t yield the produce. Why? Because we cannot control how the seed is received. We cannot be held responsible for how people react. But we are responsible for moving forward.I encourage you to keep a hopeful eye on the horizon. Keep moving forward as someone who knows God can and will do incredible things.

Takeaway: Keep sowing seeds. You never know how God will produce fruit from the steps of faith we take.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

One thought on “Matthew 13

  1. Yes indeed. Beautiful message. We plant the seeds and God makes they grow. Thanks for sharing this.
    Love, Grace, and Peace

    Liked by 1 person

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