We sometimes think of the parable of the sower as one of the ways Christ trained His disciples – and by extension, the Church – to be faithful evangelists. But is that the point of the parable? It doesn’t describe any techniques or methods for sowing the seed of the gospel. And there’s no information about the character or the giftedness of the sower.
In actual fact the parable isn’t about the sower at all; it’s about the soils. Christ delivered this familiar parable to help prepare His disciples for the inevitability of people not responding to the gospel. The Lord was bracing them to face rejection in their future ministries. We need to learn the same lesson.
Here’s the basic point of this parable. The result of the hearing of the gospel depends on the condition of the heart of the recipient. Did you get that? It is not the skill of the sower. It is not the attractiveness of the seed. It is the condition of the soil. So what we are dealing with in this matter of evangelism is the character of those who hear.
Now this is so important. I have known Christians all my life who have backed away from witnessing for Christ because they feel they are not effective because they don’t see a lot of results. This parable is here to dispel that ridiculous notion, that somebody’s salvation is dependent on the skill of the sower or on some manipulated capability in the seed. That is a lie. It’s dependent on the condition of the heart.
When you are sowing the seed you have to understand that it will fall on unresponsive hearts, impulsive hearts, preoccupied hearts, or prepared, receptive hearts. It’s important you get the seed right. You need to make sure it’s the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ you are ‘sowing.’ After that, the only issue is the condition of the hearts of those who encounter that seed.
That is a tremendous encouragement as we face a rebellious world that wants nothing to do with God. We don’t make the gospel more potent through our techniques or strategies or personal magnetism. We simply must be faithful to sow the seed, and trust the Lord to oversee the results. Trust God to ‘plough the field’ and prepare sinners’ hearts. If we are faithful to sow the seed, by His grace the fruit will come.