by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Putting Your Ears On (2 of 4)
Season of Growth
Roger Thomas
Mark 4:1-20

On the surface this is a simple story about farming. But even when we read it two thousand years later, we instinctively know that it is more than that. Sometimes the point of such stories is self-evident. Sometimes not!

Here Jesus explains the story. Indeed it was not about farming. It was about how faith grows or doesn't grow. It was not about soil, but the soul. The point is about what happens in us when the message of God's Word touches our lives. And the "what happens" isn't always the same.

There is also a good news-bad news dynamic in this story. On the one hand there is a harvest. Seed is sown. It sprouts, blossoms, and produces the crop. Thirty, sixty, or hundred percent increase. Bible scholars tell us that this was an average to good harvest for first century farms. But like with any farm or garden, not every part of the field did equally well.

And that is the spotlight of Jesus' story—the variables. Here lies the bad news. While the field produced a harvest, at the same time parts of the field yielded nothing. The problem wasn't the seed. The same seed fell everywhere. It wasn't the farmer's failure. Nor could you blame it on the weather. It wasn't hot and dry in one corner of the field while another part had plenty of rain. But remember—this is about souls, not soils.

For the month of July we are examining this same story from a number of different angles. We want to see what we can learn about spiritual growth. We want to discover how we can better experience the blessings of faith and the fruit of a dynamic growing relationship with God. None of us want to miss what God has planned for us as we grow in faith. What's the point of experiencing all of the struggles of the Christian experience but not the fruits? Today we want to zero in on the first soil—soul—that heard the Word of God but didn't "get it."

This was exactly the co ...

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