Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. (NLT)
Jesus tells a story illustrating various responses to the message he brings. Which is the first thing we have to grasp: there are different responses to the Christian message. Some reject it without much thought, others consider it then reject it, yet others warmly embrace it. There seems to be no obvious reason for this, though we must recognise that how we present the message and how we live it out are factors.
The response noted here at the outset is very negative. What is described is hardness of heart where there is complete resistance to the good news. That could stem from bad experiences of “religion” or mere stubborn self sufficiency. But there is no wrestling with the message or consideration of what it might mean.
Sadly, this is a very common response. The message might be well presented and backed up by a worthy way of life. But these people see no need of a response. Christians are merely tolerated or seen as God botherers or Bible bashers. While this may cause us to query our witness, it need not cause us to blame ourselves automatically.
The good news which we have embraced is not necessarily seen as good news by all. Sometimes our precious faith is mere bird seed to some.