The Sower, The Seeds, and The Message (Part 3)
One day Jesus sat by a lake and began to teach. A crowd gathered around Him, so large that He got into a boat. And as the people stood on the shore…He taught them many things by parables. 1
That last part…He taught them many things by parables…is taken directly from Mark’s account just before Jesus tells the parable of the seeds. 2Notice Mark did not write, He taught them things by “many parables.” That’s important as we consider The Sower, The Seeds, and The Message.
Jesus’ parables tell stories but carry much deeper teaching. For example, there’s one of a badly beaten Jew no one will help…except a Samaritan who saves his life. The story is of a rescue, but the deeper lesson answers the question: I must love my neighbor, but who is my neighbor?3
The Sower is closer than you think.
Jesus never taught just one thing, but many things. Consider the parable of the seeds. Jesus tells a story, then describes a deeper lesson to His disciples. But there’s more. Who’s the Sower? Is it Jesus, His disciples, or maybe the Church or a ministry? And the answer is…yes.
OK, that probably didn’t satisfy you. How about this. The Sower is anyone and everyone who scatters the word of God and shares the message of His Son. We were called to be the Sower as soon as we heard, Follow me.
Next question: How do we scatter and share? This one is easy. Every way possible! Through friendships and families. With neighbors and strangers. By comments and conversations, preaching and teaching, books and studies, letters and cards. By how we live out the Message!
The Message has always been known.
Last question: What is the Message? That’s a good question. It can be said in two words yet fill a book. 4 It takes all perspectives but gives only one. It is easy and difficult, simple and complicated. And though the Message is new, it has been heard from the beginning…Love one another. 5
For many years Ciloa has reflected the parable of the seeds. We have been the sower, scattering the Notes across the earth. The Notes have carried the word of God to the hearts of many. And the word has held the message, Encourage one another as long as it is called Today, 6 a critical part of loving one another.
You are called to be a sower, too. Are you willing to let God use the seed He has given you to love and encourage others? Sure, it can be scary, but there are many desperate people out there. And they need you to do more than stand alongside the road.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Mark 4:1-2. (2) This parable can be found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I am using the passage in Mark. Read Mark 4:1-20. (3) Read Luke 10:25-37. (4) For those keeping track…Follow Me. (5) Read John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12; 2 John 5. (6) Read Hebrews 3:13.
Pictures: Banner: Jesus Teaching by the Sea of Galilee, created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (1) Scattered, photo by tomasworks, iStockphoto. (2) Seeds Alongside the Road, photo by Sabrina Marie, Getty Images, iStockphoto. (3) Sower and Seed, Free Bible Images.