Jesus says, "The sower sows the word" (Mark 4:15). But what does this mean?
The Father plants the Seed, which is His Word. Jesus is the seed that’s planted. We don't plant. The Father plants the Seed. Jesus is the Word, the Seed that's planted in the world. Jesus is planted in the world by the Father without any of our help. The Father plants the seed, not Jesus, and not us.
Jesus is God’s Word. He’s the seed that's pecked at, choked, and scorched. The Father scatters the Word amongst His own people, but rather than satisfying them; His people behave like hungry birds who see seed scattered on the path. They don't recognize Jesus is God's Word. They don't see the Father's hand in Jesus' work. They don't perceive that His whole work as Savior is in the way of seed. The Seed that must fall into the ground and die before it can live and produce fruit.
When the Bible talks about bearing fruit, it’s not talking about what we must do to produce fruit.
This is also how God’s Word takes seed and produces fruit in and through us. He produces the fruits of faith in and through us. He causes the fruits of His truth and life to grow in and through us. Jesus does it all. God’s Word does it all. The Seed of faith, and truth, and life does it all for us.
This also means that when the Bible talks about bearing fruit, it's not talking about what we must do to produce fruit. Instead, we enjoy a fruitful life that’s all gift: faith, and truth, and life that God’s Word abundantly produces in and through us. God's Word, Jesus, the Seed that the Father scatters in the world will produce the fruit of salvation in and through us for our benefit and the benefit of others.
This is a remarkable thing when we think about it. We aren't even good soil. We’re sinful compost, at best. And yet, despite our being sinful compost, God’s Word takes root and bears fruit in and through us. He bears fruit that grows in us and falls ripe and ready to be enjoyed by our neighbor. That's the Father's intent when He scatters the Seed. We're going to bear fruit when God's Word works in and through us. This is what Jesus does for us and our neighbor.
What the Sower and the Seed do is out of our hands. It's in the Father's hands, and that's good news. We don't get to determine where the Seed falls. We don't get a vote about how God's Word grows and produces fruit. God does everything; we do nothing. We get to enjoy what's done for us, nothing more or less.
We don’t get to determine where the Seed falls. We don’t get a vote about how God’s Word grows and produces fruit.
And if we don't see the results we'd like, don't worry. The Sower and His Seed don't need us to worry about where, when, or how good fruit will be produced. God's Word will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in and through us to the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ, our family and friends, and the whole world.