He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
You and I can’t save anyone. We can’t make someone believe in Jesus. We can’t love them enough or convince them with clever words or force them to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Only the Holy Spirit can change someone’s heart, just as the Spirit has changed our hearts. What we can do, though, is scatter seed on the ground. We can speak truth, share good news and tell people how Jesus has changed us. Those little seeds, maybe even words that we have forgotten we said, can take root in someone’s heart and, through the Spirit’s power, can grow into faith.
This parable is sort of a follow-up to the parable of the soils. In that story, the farmer scatters seed onto various type of soil, some good for planting and others too rocky or hard or thorny for the seed to take root. In this parable, Jesus describes how a seed in good soil grows up into ripe grain ready for harvest. The farmer may not be able to explain how it grows and can’t take credit for the amazing transformation that takes place as the seed sprouts up from the soil and grows into a fruitful stalk of grain. In fact, all the farmer does is scatter the seed. God does the hard work of turning that seed into a valuable harvest.
I know teachers who have run into former students, now grown and living productive lives, and been blessed to hear those students express appreciation for lessons taught and examples shown years before. Those teachers may not remember what they said to impact their students, but their words took root. In the same way, words of encouragement you speak and acts of love you show to others can reach deeply into their hearts and be used by God to change their lives. You may not know how it will happen or how long it will take, but keep scattering the good seed of God’s love and trust that the Spirit will turn it into a harvest of eternal life.
Gracious Lord, Your word has changed my heart, and it can change the hearts of people I know. Use me to spread Jesus’ message of hope. May Your Spirit continue to produce an abundant harvest of lives changed through Jesus the Savior. I ask this in His name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian