I have written on this topic before, but I do so again because it reveals the extravagant generosity of God and the completeness of our inheritance in Jesus. 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. But it’s not actually 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. These are, substitutes like religion, the law and revisionist versions of the gospel that undo the cross or that never follow Jesus from the cross into His resurrection life in us.
“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)
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 false doctrines, other gospels and demonic interferences that prevent our taking root.
We can define ourselves in lesser identities and in doing so muffle God and dull ourselves. But should we take the incarnation at face value and live from the position, we will have entered a realm 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!”