Terry R. Baughman
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom.” (Matthew 13:24; 37–38 NIV).
In some of the parables of Matthew 13 we get a key to their understanding from the text. Particularly, Jesus gave the interpretation to the parable of the great harvest that was infiltrated with weeds in response to the question of the disciples, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field” (Matthew 13:36 NIV). In the analogy of this parable the good seed is the people of the kingdom, the sower is the Son of Man, and the field is the world. While in the parable of the sower the seed was identified as the Word of God, in this parable the seed is revealed to be people who are committed to Jesus. It is interesting to see how Christ used His followers to sow good influence in the field of the world.
If ever there was a time when this corrupt world needs a good and godly influence it is now. The brokenness of sin has scarred creation and all created beings have suffered from the consequences of the fall. Paul recorded, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10–12). This condition is not unique to the current generation. A study of history reveals the recurrence of sin and evil throughout all time. Paul observed that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The field is the world and it is in bad need of cultivation. The prophet Hosea said, “Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord.” There must be a breaking up of the hardened soil of rebellion against God. It is time for sowing a new seed and the expectation of a harvest from the good seed of repentance, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy” (Hosea 10:12).
As Christ-followers we must understand our mission. It is not just to live a better life and to enjoy the fruit of righteousness alone. Rather, it is our purpose to be seed, good seed in receptive soil. Jesus has called us into the world to be salt and light, and seed, the good seed of the people of the kingdom. We are change agents. We are to bring flavor to the living bread and a engender a thirst for righteousness. We are seed, and because of His Spirit, we are good seed.
In the same field there was sown seed that produced evil. A scheming sower secretly seeded the soil with a deceptive purpose. The initial growth seemed harmless. From the foliage it was difficult to distinguish the difference, but in time the yield revealed its corrupt conception. To protect the good, the weed was allowed to grow alongside the fruitful produce. The separation will come at harvest, at the end of the age.
“Look on the field,” see the need. An angel declared, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Revelation 14:15). Harvest is coming and it is near. Only the produce of the good seed will survive. Keep sowing. Keep believing. Continue the work of the kingdom until Christ declares the harvest to be complete.
“Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35).