People have always had a desire for immediate gratification. Otherwise, the Bible wouldn’t talk so much about such things as patience and perseverance. Both of which require time and are opposites in spirit to immediate gratification. After all, if everything happened at the speed of now, then there’d be no need for patience or perseverance, would there? As Christians, our desires for immediate gratification might take a different form than that of the world, but the desire is still there. For example, when we tell someone about the Lord or invite them to church, we expect them to rise up in the pew, shout, “Hallelujah!” and walk out saved. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a reflection of our faith, hope, and love for God and them. However, when that doesn’t happen, we can get discouraged.

I’m always going on about context in the Bible. We must read it in context, or else we might misunderstand it. Most of the time, when I’m discussing context, I’m considering how it references the text. The immediate text; the surrounding verses upwards to the Bible. Always including the character of God. Often, as in the case of the epistles, historical circumstances are also considered. For example, in the discussion on whether or not God hates long hair on men, I point out what long hair on a man meant in those days and what it means now.

Today, I want to examine the idea of plants in the Bible relative to their seeds, how they operate, and what we might think when we read the text.

Jesus often taught in parables. One of the more well-known, and often thought of parables, is that of the sower.

3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV)

I’m not going to explain this parable because Jesus explains it in Matthew 13:18-23 and you can read it there. What I do want to discuss is the notion of seeds.

When we want to explain something to someone, we like to use terms that are already understood to facilitate the learning process. This is why we read a lot about plants and animals in the Bible. Many people were farmers. Even those who were not well versed in agriculture knew enough to understand. Today we’ve grown so far away from agriculture that some people lie to their children about meat and where it comes from, and the children believe it. For many, our exposure to plants comes from what we’ve already bought in stores or what we might plant in a garden, with only 25% of people in the U.S. having gardens. Therefore, it makes sense that we don’t know much about the growth process.

When Jesus discussed the planting of seeds and harvesting, as he does in the Parable of the Sower, the main crops in the day were wheat, barley, legumes, figs, grapes, and olives. In the case of figs and olives, it could take 3-5 years before they could be harvested. While wheat, barley, and legumes didn’t take as long, they still took months, at best, before they were ready to be harvested. However, none of these plants were likely to sprout overnight, but this is what we expect when we read the parable.

We expect it of ourselves, and we expect it of those to whom we introduce the Gospel. I know that when I first read and began to think more about the Parable of the Sower as a relatively new Christian, I ironically worried that I was the seed that got tangled and choked by the plants. What I believe we must understand within the context of this parable is not only the seed and how long it takes for a seed to grow, but the context of our lives and how long it takes for us to grow. Measurably and visually. Our physical growth. Then, consider that we don’t all mentally mature at the same rate. Why would we spiritually?

Therefore, when we tell someone about Jesus or invite them to church and they don’t stand up and shout, “Hallelujah!” We must be patient. We must trust the Lord. We must have faith, hope, and love. Most of all, we must have love. And when we consider ourselves and those we know who know Christ, we ought to not try and measure our growth by the things we know. I posit that if we’re concerned about our growth, that’s good. We take it to the Lord and let him continue the good work he’s doing in us, so we can reap a harvest in due time, and trust that the seeds planted in faith will do what God wants them to do.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.