Just recently I heard a message on the Sower and the Soils from the Gospels. Of course, I have read, studied, and heard many sermons on this familiar parable given by Jesus. This time, though the preacher did not expound on the point, I finally realized the meaning of the various results of the good soils. The parable and its interpretation by Jesus is found in the three Synoptic Gospels: Mt. 13.3-9, 13.18-23; Mk. 4.2-9, 4.13-20; Lk. 8.4-8, 11-15.
It is only the grain He did not interpret but the meaning is obvious though I had not heard it identified nor did I understand the reference. Previously, I thought the different quantities might refer to spiritual fruits or converts we helped influence for Christ. While sitting in the pew and having the parable read and expounded the understanding identifying of the grain became apparent. The different amount of the good soils produced was not the conundrum since this is obvious in that various Christians both have diverse callings to various ministries and different levels of dedication to service. Defining the grain was my question.
Perhaps I focused on the negative soils to make sure I did not have any of them or avoid those same tendencies in my life. Maybe I should have meditated on it more or tried to find the meaning in a commentary. By the way, the best commentary on the bible is the bible itself. If we would just read it more in context and with more frequency then we build ‘live memory’ or an accessible ‘data bank’ of biblical truth which helps us combine the various passages to make sense of the whole.
Anyway, the figure of the parable is clear: the grains are just what has been previously dispersed, other grains of witness and preaching. Neither Jesus, Paul, nor the others won over everyone to whom they witnessed. Therefore, it is our responsibility to give the word, but the enlightening by The Spirit and giving of faith belongs to God. We should seek to tell forth His word but leave all the results to God alone.