Unable to get his lawn tractor to start, Bill headed to the local handy man's “Fix It Up” shop to see about getting it fixed. “What a beautiful week we have had.” Bill said to the sales clerk, “With the warm weather the frost is going out of the ground and I want to get my lawn tractor going so I can get my garden ready.”
“Did you say garden?!” Came a voice from behind him. “I sure did.” Bill said as he turned to see who he was addressing. “I was afraid of that.” the voice said. It was John McDonald. “You should feel right at home in a garden.” Bill said as he stuck out his hand to shake John's, “Or is a garden too small for you?
“Even a small garden is too big now.” John said a bit dejected. “Wow!” Bill exclaimed, “What’s going on? Did some one steal your tractor?” “I’m beginning to wish they would have.” John said, “Then maybe none of this would have happened.” “What happened?” Bill asked. “Somebody got into my storage shed without me knowing it.”
“Did they do something to your tractor?” Bill asked. “The tractor doesn't fit in the shed.” John said, “But, they did something even worse. I spent a couple days getting my field ready to plant and on Wednesday I planted my seeds, or at least I thought I did.” “What did you plant?” Bill asked, “Something good to eat?”
“WEEDS!” John said, “I planted weeds.” “Why in the world did you plant weeds?” Bill asked, “You can't eat them.” “I didn't plant weeds.” John said in response. “Wait a minute.” Bill injected, “I thought you just said you planted weeds?” “I did.” John said, “But I didn’t plant them. At least not on purpose.” “You've lost me.” Bill said and so did the sales clerk.
“Somebody got into my shed and hid all of my good seed and replaced it with weed seeds.” John explained. “How in the world do you tell all those seeds apart.” Bill asked. “It's not always easy,” John continued, “But I found where they switched them.” “If you knew somebody switched them,” Bill said, “Why did you plant them?”
“Because I didn’t find out until after I planted them.” John said. “Are you going to be able to plant your good seeds?” Bill wondered. “Yes.” John said, “But I won’t get much crop out of them because of this. The weeds will take all the food away from the good seeds.” Things sure are getting weirder around Pupperville,” Bill said, “I better go make sure my seeds are okay.” and then Bill left without getting what he needed from the sales clerk.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables,
Matthew 13:1-3a (ESV)
Can you imagine having so many people show up for church, that the preacher would have to get in a boat on the lake. Well, maybe your church isn't on a beach on a lake but that's what was happening to Jesus so He got in a boat and started to teach in parables – stories with a spiritual meaning. In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus started teaching a parable tat involved planting.
He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.' " (ESV)
Jesus' disciples didn't understand it so Jesus went on to explain it in verses 37-43 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (ESV)
In Galatians 6:7-8 we read Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (NLT) If you plant weed seeds in your fields or gardens like John you'll get weeds. If you plant weed seeds in your life, you'll get weeds. This fits with Proverbs 22:8 which says Those who plant seeds of injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will end. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 9:6 adds another important lesson about planting. Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest, but the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest. (NCV) If you plant lots of seeds you'll get lots of plants.
When it comes to what we will reap we need to remember these verses.
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
- Hebrews 10:26 If we decide to go on sinning after we have learned the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. (NCV)
- Romans 8:6-8 If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (NLT)
Here's Something To Ponder
- What kind of seeds are you planting in your life?
- What kinds of plants have you been harvesting?