As a follower of Jesus I am familiar with the parable of the 4 soils, maybe a little too familiar. In reading through the book of Luke I came to this parable and my first instinct was to skip it and go to the next chapter. I’m glad I didn’t because I saw something I about the seed that I have missed over the years.
“This is what the parable means. The seed is the message of God.” Ok stop there, if the seed is the message, then what is the message? What is God’s primary message?
God’s primary message is love, specifically that we are loved by him, that’s the message. So if that is true, and it is, then why not replace “the message of God” with what his message actually is, and listen to Jesus’ teaching through that voice?
Soil # 1: “The seed sown by the roadside represents those who hear the message (that they are loved), and then the devil comes and takes it away from their hearts so that they cannot believe (the message that they are loved) and be saved.”
Soil #2: “That sown on the rock represents those who accept the message (that they are loved) with great delight when they hear it, but have no real root. They believe (that they are loved) for a little while but when the time of temptation comes, they lose faith.”
Soil #3: “And the seed sown among the thorns represents the people who hear the message (that they are loved) and go on their way, and with the worries and riches and pleasures of living, the life is choked out of them, and in the end they produce nothing.”
Soil #4: “But the seed sown on good soil means those who hear the message (that they are loved) and accept (that they are loved) with a good and honest heart, and go on steadily producing a good crop.
There are plenty of good commentaries out there that can address each of the soils, I’m not going there. What I see here is that our part is not to try to figure out which “soil” we are, or even be concerned with fruit for that matter. According to Jesus in this parable, our part is to accept with a good and honest heart the truth that we are loved. To keep leaning into this the reality that we are loved allowing it to impact our day. As we learn to live into God’s primary message more and more we will find ourselves producing a really good crop.