The new covenant reveals the extravagant generosity of God and the completeness of our inheritance in Jesus. Our topic is the Parable of the Sower. At first sight this parable looks as though it’s about sin – about not working hard enough and not being careful enough about rooting sins out of our lives and being distracted as a result of worldliness and materialism. The meaning we give a passage depends on the lens we are using. The lens here is the Jesus Lens and the Jesus of the New Covenant at that. The parable of the Sower is about ignoring the new covenant and living in a range of mixtures of the old and the new.
FOLLOW JESUS INTO LIFE
Should we have a passion to live in our inheritance rather than in a fraction of it, we would do well to discover what the new covenant is and how it differs from the old rather than circling the mulberry bush of ideas to which we are addicted and which we hope might give us some distinctiveness and identity. The misinterpretation of this parable is an example of how we can warp the Bible and the gospel with a mindset that constructs a Jesus who lives to endorse the law rather than a Jesus who is in us to impart Himself. The latter is the gospel of Jesus and Paul. The former a distorted gospel that is nothing more than a cunningly devised fable.
You can find teaching on the New Covenant in books like, ‘Clash of the Covenants, and ‘How New is the New Covenant?’ Living in an old covenant mindset in the post cross age is like swimming about in your life-jacket in the ocean, when God has given you an ocean liner in which to flourish.
So, the Parable of the Sower is not about sin. It’s about living in the fertility of God; about our person being rooted in God so that our being is the expression of Christ’s life. Joe McIntyre writes,
‘When Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower, He indicated that understanding this Parable was fundamental in comprehending the Kingdom.’ (1) The Kingdom is understood when we understand the new covenant. It’s basic to the understanding of the Kingdom because we have been made one with God. The parable is about living in this oneness, this new covenant reality and not living in substitutes for union with God. Substitutes like religion, the law and revisionist versions of the gospel. These are weeds, rock and stones that undo the riches of the cross and deplete the fullness of God in the Believer.
“In our spiritual growth we first see Christ for us. Then we see ourselves with and in Christ. And as we press on with the Lord we come to appreciate Christ in us. Paul said it was his goal to present every man perfect in Christ.” (2)
How perfect in Christ? Christ is in you but not rattling around like a smarty. He is incarnated into your being, has come in your flesh and interwoven into your person. The mystery of Christ in you is that by the Spirit Jesus becomes you.
Our union with God is more radical and more complete than many know. This truth is expressed in John seventeen and specifically in John 14.20: ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’ The point is to realise it now if we have missed it. This is what Jesus is talking about prior to the cross in John seventeen and what He accomplished by the resurrection. We are talking incarnation – Christ in you; Christ’s Spirit manifesting through you; Father expressing the truth of your sonship in you.
In The Parable of The Sower the garden is the womb of the trinity and you are the seed that is cast into it in Jesus. Rocks, weeds and birds are half gospels, other gospels, denominational perspectives and demonic interferences that prevent our taking root.
THE BLIND DON’T KNOW THEY CANNOT SEE
We can define ourselves in lesser identities. We have that choice. We can be of the one loaf, yet be the poor man who lives as a peasant when he is actually a king. In doing so muffle God and dull ourselves. Then again we can abandon some of our smug ideas and take the incarnation at face value to live from the position, of infinite life and a glorified ‘us.’
Francois Du Toit writes, “The incarnation reveals that nowhere in the universe is humanity individually more comprehensively represented than what we are in Christ Jesus in the immediate presence of God! Your most favourite sports team, political or religious association, personal achievements, disappointments, joys and heartaches, dreams and fears, all dwindle in relevance!
You are defined by God’s desire and design - this is what Jesus redeemed!
You are unconditionally loved!”