Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Hearken, behold, there went out a sower to sow. Mark 4:3

Why does the word ‘hearken’ appear at the beginning of this parable? I suggest it tells us that something very important is about to be presented. Something very profound is being launched in this parable that holds meaning from that moment until now. The sower going out to sow is an illustration of the launching of the Gospel, the same Gospel that was preached in Jesus’ day and down through the centuries, and the same Gospel that is being preached this very Lord’s Day evening. The Sower is the Holy Spirit, enabling and encouraging preachers and witnesses and all who strive together for the furtherance of the Gospel. But the Gospel came about because the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14). In the parable of the sower we see the entire purpose of the Trinity, a purpose that included you and me.

If the parable of the sower is a launching point for the Gospel, we can be thankful today that the launching has been followed by the faithful centuries of Gospel preaching. From that seaside parable of the Lord Jesus until now, we are in awe at the workings of the Holy Spirit in the lives of mankind. Throughout our world there are precious souls who have received the Seed of the Word of God. All around us are those who are saved, including many that we are unaware of. Whether by the spread of the Bible by underground means in communist lands, or by the humble weekly presentation of messages by local brethren, or by the handing out of Gospel tracts by Believers everywhere, or in however many ways that the Seed is sown, we see the outflowing of the fulfilment of the parable of the sower. What a wonderful plan of Salvation our God has created!

Our parable doesn’t say anything about the Sower, other than His work. The focus is on the Seed and its fruit. This should be a lesson to us today, that if the Holy Spirit is to draw no attention to Himself in the spreading of the Gospel, then neither should we. Of course, we appreciate the gifts and the efforts of our faithful preaching brethren. But they will be the first to assure us that in every Gospel message they preach, they desire to be hidden behind the cross. There is no glory to be perceived for ourselves, because it is not us who save, or even deliver the Seed of the Word.

When there went out a Sower to sow, His work reached us. And now, His work is also ours, that we might be part, not only of the harvest, but of the faithful sowing that brings others into the blessing. – Jim MacIntosh

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