Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” 9 Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (NLT)
Jesus told this story about a sower spreading seeds to illustrate varying responses to the gospel message. He speaks of the disappointing experiences of not seeing much response, or of illusory success. He is a realist, as he himself experienced rejection of his message.
But that is not the whole story. Many of us know of instances where people came to faith in Jesus and brought others to faith. Amidst all the undoubted disappointments and let downs are the stories of a contagious spread of faith in Jesus. Big things grow from little things. A seemingly insignificant encounter or “chance” conversation can change lives and destinies.
Most of us have lived long enough to realise not every faith sharing initiative bears fruit. Not every good deed we do in the name of Jesus will have people embrace him. So much hard work goes into our evangelistic enterprises with so little apparent result.
But there is power in that message we bear. The Spirit of God is at work. There are deep needs and aspirations in people that are ready to hear the good news. So we go on sharing our faith in words and works, go on praying for those who seem resistant. Go on sowing seeds believing that amidst all the rubble and weeds there is fertile soil. We may never see all the results, in which case we content ourselves with being sowers rather than reapers.