One of our devotional readings today was based on the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4. I was so absorbed in the picture of the Sower described by Jesus that I was kind of jarred with what Jesus said as he finished: “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I don’t use my ears when I am looking at something. The statement about having ears just reminded me that Jesus had used a word-picture. Words were the tool, the code-carriers that conveyed information that would or could not otherwise be seen. I realized that Jesus didn’t really want me to be looking at a seed sower anyway. That wasn’t his point.
The point seems to be the harvest result from the few seeds that land on good soil. The sower will come back to reap there. The fruitful results there will make the loss of seeds thrown elsewhere bearable, at least to the sower. All the seed was good, itself. It springs up anywhere it is given a chance. But it needs more than a chance, more than a start. The end results at harvest season are the only ones that will count. Races are won only at the finish line.
The seed with stunted growth, or starved and choked to an early death, won’t count. That ground won’t be revisited. There’s no reason to. Not the seed’s fault. Not the Sower’s responsibility. Though the seed might have fed the birds that wasn’t the point. The sowing was all in expectation for the harvest and that didn’t come overnight. That result was found only on soil that could properly receive the generously sowed gifts and properly nurture them.
A vivid picture indeed. But all in words, sown like seeds on listeners across the ages. Not all those words fall on receptive ears. And that is why the results have shown the same variation as described in the parable.
Not the seed’s fault. Not the Sower’s responsibility. The sowing of the Word is in expectation of a harvest that isn’t coming overnight.
But it will come. Those with ears to hear are waiting even now for the trumpet to sound.