Tis the time of year we are preparing our gardens for the spring planting. Weeds are uprooted and the ground is disturbed with sod forks and fertilizer to prepare a rich soil for abundant growth and harvest. Our Lord was fond of farming parables as they conveyed in a few words some mighty lessons on walking with Him and our purpose as disciples of Our Savior. We are familiar with Jesus' parable in Mark 4:8
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.We know what Jesus was talking about here: we need to have ready hearts and minds in order for us to produce good fruit for the Kingdom of God and to understand His Word.
Another favorite verse of mine with a farm reference, but one whose meaning is not so readily apparent, is in John 21:18
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep.Sheep are grazers; they are rarely ever fed but rather forage for themselves. The only time sheep are fed is 6 weeks before and after they give birth. Jesus is telling St. Peter here that we are to feed His sheep so that they too will produce good and healthy disciples (lambs) to carry on the work of the Kingdom.
Both verses remind us what we are to be about: producing fruit, producing disciples and carrying forth a worthy example of Life in Christ. For Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7
13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. 14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.
- 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
- 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
- 17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
- 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
- 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
- 20 So by their fruits you will know them.
- 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
- 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
- 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'
- 24 "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
- 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
- 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
- 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."
- 28 When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching....
That's me away to the garden.