“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.” Mark 4:3
Jesus used the illustration of farming to help his disciples understand how to evangelize more effectively. It’s a powerful metaphor for how we can effectively sow seeds and see results. So, what can a farmer teach us about evangelism? At least three things …
1. The purer the seed, the more the results.
It’s a basic law of farming: Pure seed = strong harvest.
According to the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department:
“The use of good quality seed is a prerequisite for the satisfactory production of a good quality crop and is essential for export markets. The following points should be taken into account when considering seed quality: trueness to type (often referred to as variety purity); freedom from other materials, including plant debris, dead or broken seeds, seeds of other crops, weed seeds, noxious and parasitic weed seeds, also nonplant materials; freedom from seed-borne pests and diseases.”
Too many times, too many gospel presentations contain debris, weeds and pesticides. They have subtle strands of works protruding from them upon which a lost person’s flesh can hold onto for self-salvation.
This grace + works hybrid is confusing at best and damning at worst. Paul was so against sowing this brand of seed, he wrote these words to his fellow farmers in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”
He is basically saying, “I don’t care if Michael the Archangel himself starts sowing gospel seeds that are not up to par, or even me or Luke or Timothy … reject those bad seeds!”
If we keep our gospel message pure by focusing on what Jesus has done for us and not what we must do for him, then we will have a bigger and better harvest. Salvation is a free gift made possible by God’s grace when we simply trust in Jesus to save us based on his death in our place for our sins. This reality is what makes a seed good, pure and productive.
Pure seed = Strong harvest.