A monthly column by farm, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan
What is a parable? According to the Oxford dictionary a parable is: “a simple story used to illustrate a moral, or spiritual lesson.”
The greatest Teacher, storyteller that ever lived was the Lord Jesus Christ, so much so, that Nicodemus who was a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel in those days, came by night to learn from the carpenter’s son.
Jesus always spoke in parables — simple stories. His illustrations are the same yesterday, today and forever. They are still applicable, even to the man on the street (especially the farmer) and they are very profound. They are always challenging when it comes to our personal lifestyle, but they remain full of love. Jesus speaks clearly in the Gospel of Matthew 13, the story of The Seed and the Sower. We as farmers can really identify with this beautiful story. Jesus said that the sower went out to sow seed and some fell on the wayside, which means that some people hear the word of God, but they do not understand it and so it never takes root, and is eaten up by the birds of the air.
The second amount of seed fell in stony places, where it is received with great joy, but has no root because of the shortage of soil. So, when tribulation and persecution come knocking on their door because of the word of God, people get offended and fall by the wayside.
The next amount of seed falls into the thorns, which are the cares of this world. They literally choke because of the deceitfulness of riches. People get so sidetracked with the riches and success of this world, that they bear very little fruit, and become totally unfruitful.
Some seed falls into good, well-prepared, deep and rich soil. This is the seed that we hear from the word of God, we understand it and as a result we bear much fruit. We are told some bear up to 30-fold, 60-fold and even 100-fold.
More applicable than ever
Isn’t it amazing that after around 2 000 years these parables are still applicable! In fact, probably more so today than in those days. We really need to plant our seed in good soil. We need to make sure that our lives are in order and that we don’t get snagged up with things like fear, depression and anxiety, to the extent that we can’t think straight and make very poor decisions.
We need to make sure that our priorities are in order — first God, then our families and then our business, because what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul (family)? (Mark 8:36) Absolutely nothing, as we’ve said many times in this column.
We need to stop worrying about things that we can’t do anything about and concentrate on the things that we can do well. We need to operate by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Remember faith comes by reading our “Agricultural Manual” (the Bible) every single day, and that will see us through.
May God bless you.