Mark 4:1-9 (NIV)
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! 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, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
On its own this riddle can be heard in different ways, all of which bear reflection. What soil are we like – how receptive are we to God’s Word? Maybe we’re like the seed, challenged by the pressures of everyday life as represented by the different landscapes we fall upon? Perhaps we’re like the farmer, sowing God’s Word amongst the people we mix with, some of whom will respond, others of whom won’t.
Try and take in the story and carry it with you today. Let it speak into the situations you find yourself in – and let those situations speak into your life.