The disciples came up and asked [Jesus] "Why do you tell stories?" He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works . . . Study this story of the farmer planting seed, it is the basis for understanding all my parables. Mark 4:10-11;
Jesus was a story teller, and for those who were hungry to learn, yet struggling with his teachings about the kingdom, he crafted simple parables that unpacked profound truths. He loved it when a listener's quizzical expression morphed into that bright eyed look that said, Oh! Now I get it!
Jesus' story about the farmer planting seed was pivotal. He said it would be foundational in understanding the mysteries his kingdom. Also, the story was intended to be a resource for constant encouragement. Farmers knew the discouragement of faithfully and abundantly planting seed that never germinated. Every farmer witnessed the drying, shriveling, and dieing of a sprout that never set its roots. Every tiller of the ground saw times when the only green thing that survived and thrived were despised weeds. Healthy plants that held much promise sometimes yielded no harvest.
Christ's story was meant to be insightful and powerful, and to bring discovery and relief to all of us who down through the centuries plant the good seed of God's word. Robert Louis Stevenson's quote captures the essence of Christ's intent . . .
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Oh! Now I get it!