Have you ever approached this parable the same way you would one of those “self-help” quizzes on Facebook? “Take this quiz and discover your spiritual soil type!” No surprise, we usually identify ourselves as the GOOD soil. We might even be tempted to take the quiz to discover someone else’s spiritual soil type. No surprise, we may assess them as being one of those “other” soils.
What if we turned our attention to the sower and all that seed, rather than to ourselves and others? When we look at the sower, we see someone (Jesus) scattering seed enthusiastically and abundantly. Seeds are flying everywhere! When we look at the seed (the word of the kingdom), we see healthy, fertile seed that falls on and even germinates in less-than-ideal soil. Surely the sower sees that his seed is landing in the lives of those who failed the soil quiz.
And that is the point. Jesus abundantly shares the word of the kingdom with all. All soil is redeemable. Soil can be plowed. Rocks can be removed, and thorns can be pulled. How about a scarecrow to keep the birds away? Each of us have some rocks and thorns in our lives that don’t make for good growing. But we remember the abundance of the Sower and his good seed and so have hope that we can be weeded and cleared of those things that keeps us from fruitful lives.