Series on MarkMark 4 opens with Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God. At that point in His ministry Jesus had already been rejected by the religious leaders. His legitimate offer of the Davidic Kingdom was rebuffed so He postponed it to a future date. But a natural question emerged in the minds of His followers: What are we to do in the meantime?

That question is still relevant for us living today and the parables regarding the Kingdom were meant to provide answers to that question.

The parable of the soils provides some clues. Bible scholars have focused too much on the sower in the story even to the point of calling it “the parable of the sower.” Well, the sower is clearly Christ even if we are the means through which He does the sowing. The parable is really meant to drill in us the paramount necessity to keep sowing the seed of the Gospel.

This point was so huge that Mark recorded Jesus saying at the beginning of the parable: “Look! Listen!” (Mark 4:3, a double emphasis not brought out in many English translations) and later on Jesus said again, “The one who has ear to hear, let Him hear it.” (Mark 4:9). In other words, “Let it sink in.”

The Word must be sown in all kinds of soils (people). Since we don’t know ahead of time what type of soil we are dealing with, we must sow abundantly, we must sow incessantly, and we must sew enthusiastically. As a follower of Christ, then, if you are not involved with sowing, you are not engaged in the main mission of the church.

Before you object, let me pose this question: God could have saved us and immediately translated us into heaven, why didn’t He do it?

Some say that the chief end of man is to glorify God, which is good, but isn’t this what we will do in heaven? So why not take us there right away?

“God left us here so we would get to know Him better.” But how can we top heaven when we will know Him as He is, face to face?

“The purpose of the church is to prepare believers for the work of the ministry.” True, but what ministry are we talking about? Ministry of the Word? Sure, but we will know the Word perfectly in heaven, so why are we not there right now?

There is only one satisfactory answer to the main question posed above: God left us here on earth because of the people who are still outside of the Kingdom, God’s other friends, whom He intends to bring to heaven through our influence. So if that is the main reason God has left us here on earth, how are you doing? How many people do you know who are still outside God’s Kingdom? Do you pray for them? Are you intentional about sowing the seed of the gospel into their lives? Do you care that they are outside of Christ?

The parable of the soil teaches us that Jesus is the ultimate sower but He relies on us to scatter the seed. And if we are not doing it, then we are failing Him. May God wake us all up to this reality. No sowing, no growing. Make a banner and raise it outside the church: “Closed. Not gone fishing.” Let’s not let that happen to us.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA