“But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:7
We’ve spent the last few days considering three kinds of spiritual conditions that effect our relationship to God and his word. The first, the path, illustrates the reality that sometimes the proclaimed word is obstructed by the devil so that it never breaks through to the hearer. The second, the rocky soil, illustrates the weakness that results when the word is received wth an attitude self-righteousness. The third, the weedy soil, tells us how the word is obstructed when we allow time and space for temptation. Then comes the good soil. The results of the word being received by a “good soil” person are described but we’re left to question, “What does it take to make soil good?”
Jesus doesn’t answer the question in the scriptures. But I don’t think he needed to. Most of his hearers, for many centuries to follow, were farmers or the children of farmers and they understood what had to happen for soil to be good. It’s not that way today. Food today is grown by a comparative few so we’re not as familiar with how soil becomes good.
No soil is naturally good. In the same way no heart is naturally open to the word of God. Soil and hearts must be broken in order to be made good. Being broken means that the weeds and rocks that would obstruct the plant are removed. Being broken means that the soil is loosened so the it can receive the seed and accept the penetration of the root.
The good news is this. Any soil, if it is properly broken, can be made good. People know what’s required to grow food in the desert, in the mountains, in the prairie. You name the place and we know what’s needed to grow food there. Sometimes great effort is required. Sometimes there are limits to what foods, and how much should be grown. But if a person is willing to carefully plan and do the work something can be made to grow in any soil.
Jesus is willing to make the effort to make your life fruitful. No matter your past. No matter how impenetrable your life seems to be. No matter how numerous the obstructions of the rocks and weeds of life seem to be, Jesus is willing and able break your heart and make it new.