Posted by: robbiexgibson | 10 December, 2008

Sowing the seeds of love

Last night we looked at a familiar passage: Mark 4:1-20. We mainly talked about 4 questions:

  • What does v.12 mean?
  • Where do we see ourselves in the parable?
  • Who is the sower?
  • What are the practical applications?

This is what I remember of our discussions, please chime in if I’ve missed anything!

Verse 12: why would God deliberately obscure his message? The point was made in several different ways that God reveals himself in many different ways already and this is noted elsewhere in the Bible (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1; Luke 16:31) as being sufficient. So in a way, this passage is telling us that people’s hearts aren’t likely to be changed by argument (or as somebody put it, if somebody can be “argued in” to faith they can also be “argued out”) but rather need the Spirit of God to work. That can be a source of frustration when we don’t see the Spirit working despite fervent and repeated requests!

The different soil types: we could all identify with different types and maybe our “soil type” changes as we go through life. A good thing to do might be to use the different seed killers as a checklist to make sure that we aren’t getting distracted from becoming fertile soil. And if we are allowed to add an extra type, we could imagine times when soil is just left fallow: this might correspond to transformational times of suffering? (Romans 5:3-4; Romans 12:2a.)

Who is the sower? We referred back to the first discussions and concluded that seed can be sown by lots of things: hardship, creation, the Holy Spirit, dreams, us! But the important thing is that seed gets scattered without us worrying too much that it’s not being sowed on the right kind of soil.

Practical: identify our own current principal soil type and make sure we know what our pressure points are; pray against them; identify 1 or 2 ways that we can help sow (individually or collectively, preferable something regular).

Bonus question: if we are called to participate in the sowing process, is it done primarily by words or deeds? From everything we have seen of Jesus’ example so far, he acts first and then preaches later, should this be our model too?

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Responses

  1. Er, I suppose we can’t really say “no, preach first and act later” can we?!

    The question for me is “what kind of actions”? Is “loving one’s neighbour” enough? It’s pretty much central to being a Christian, but sometimes it seems to come out as just being “nice and middle class”. Is it a question of going beyond society’s defintion of “reasonable niceness”?


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