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A Parable


A Parable

A Landowner had fields that needed planting.  He called in his servant-carpenter and said, “The time for planting is here.  Make haste, take this seed and sow the fields I have set aside for you, so the harvest may be plentiful.”

But the servant replied, “But Sir, I am but a humble carpenter, not skilled in sowing, not knowing how to sow, where to sow or how much, all the things a sower needs to know.”

The Landowner replied, “My other servants are busy in other fields, and have I not chosen you to do this for me?  Go, do as I have requested, as best as you can, and may the God of the Harvest guide and bless your efforts.”

So the carpenter-servant picked up the bag of seed and went to the designated fields.  He flung the seed as he had seen others do many times, not really knowing if his efforts were in vain or for good.  But he took comfort in the thought that the Master had chosen him to sow these particular fields.  After many days of labor, he finished the task laid before him and went back to his hammer and chisels.

After some time had passed, the harvest time came and he saw that his unskilled hands  had cast some seed where the birds had eaten the seed.  Other seed had fallen on places that had shallow soil, where the seed sprouted but then withered.  Then he found places where the seed had fallen among weeds, which took all the precious water and sunlight, choking out the seedlings.

But he rejoiced with the Master to see that, in his inexperience and bumbling,  some still fell where intended and there was a reaping, returning to the Master His investment and then some.


Notes on this parable:

  1. The Master chose the servant, not because of his skills but because He knew the servant was willing.
  2. There was loss of seed, loss of investment and loss of labor due to misplaced seed.
  3. There was a harvest where the seed did fall on fertile soil.
  4. The Master did not chastise the sower for not being skilled at this task, but rejoiced over the harvest, knowing that some seed will always be wasted in the efforts of planting His fields.
  5. No matter how careful and skillful a sower may be (and this applies to the Master Sower as well), seed will always land on unfruitful soil.
  6. The harvest was not dependent on the skill or techniques of the sower (regardless of how careful he may be), but the quality of the seed and the particular soil the seeds fell on.

A side note:

In His day, The Master Sower seemingly made no effort to sow carefully, especially when it came to fields of the Professional Farmers of His day.  In fact, He did everything possible to see to it that no seed would sprout in their soil.  It would seem that if He were concerned about a harvest in every field, He would have been more careful in how He delivered the seed to some of these fields.

Instead, He hacked and slashed at those fields, the stony ground where very little would come up anyway.  One would think He would gently break up the rocks, cart off the rubble, plow in fertilizer and mulch, and prepare these fields for His seed.  He didn’t.  Instead, He acted in very “un-sower” ways!  It is shocking to us today how He trampled on and abused the very fields that needed the seed the most.  And most amazing, even in these fields, there was harvest.


This is about me.  I know a lot about chisels and hammers, not so much about sowing.   So if there is any good that comes out of the seed I scatter, then it’s totally His doing and none of mine.  I’d rather not have that responsibility.



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