Who Is the Sower?

4

Hebrews 1:1–3 (NIV)

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

CONSIDER THIS

PREVIOUSLY ON THE WAKE-UP CALL: We are in the midst of a series on the fruit of the Spirit. However, fruit is at the end of the process. To get fruit we must begin with soil and seeds. We have identified our lives (in the context of our hearts, homes, churches and cities) as the garden or seedbed. We have established that we, as the garden, are not ourselves the gardeners. Remember, God, our gardener, is landscaping us with the Word, making of our lives a salvation-garden.1 We have settled the matter of the seed, which is the Word of God as revealed in Scripture. And we began to ask this question:

How does one sow the Word of God in their heart and mind? 

Here’s the $64,000 question. Who is the sower? Are we the sowers? It would seem so as we were pointing to the admonition to meditate on God’s Word day and night. Yes, this is true, but we are not the sower.2 So who is the sower?

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

I offer this text as the starting place for our meditation on Scripture. With exquisite economy of speech, the writer says everything we need to know. I want you to copy this text down in your journal or on a card, somewhere you can access it. I want you to learn this text, to dwell deeply on it. I want this to become one of our life texts. I want us to read, ruminate, rememberize, research, and rehearse this one together.3 Jesus is the sower. As he comes to dwell through his Spirit in our inmost being, he sows the Scriptures into our lives, just as the Spirit sowed the Scriptures into his Word made flesh life. 

If our relationship is with the Bible we are on the path to becoming good Pharisees (or bad ones). Our relationship is with Jesus, who is the Word made flesh and who interprets to us the Word made text. Hear Jesus on this point:

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39–40)

We come to Jesus and then Jesus leads us into the Scriptures. And the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures makes them the means of grace whereby we are transformed into the deep interior likeness of Jesus—leading to the Word of God becoming enfleshed and embodied in our everyday lives. This is the miraculous movement whereby the seeds of the Word of God sown by Jesus into the seedbeds of our lives come to produce fruit which yields yet more seeds and on the miracle goes and goes. 

Wake up, sleeper! Rise from the dead! The garden of your life, the seedbed of your soul is about to move into a new kind of flourishing. Let’s get our attention fixed on Jesus. 

THE PRAYER

Farmer Father God, thank you for speaking to us in these last days by your Son whom you appointed heir of all things and through whom also you made the universe. Thank you for Jesus, who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. And thank you for the way he sustains all things by his powerful Word. I confess, there is a way of engaging your Word that makes me my own project and keeps me in control. I am ready to let go of this old way. Lead me into this mystery and miracle of the Word of God made flesh teaching us the Word of God made text. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Are you reading me? Am I making this more clear or more confusing—the relationship between Jesus and the Word of God and our lives? Will you give attention to this text from Hebrews 1:1–3? Please. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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NOTES FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

1. This is where we go wrong, trying to take over control of our own lives as self improvement projects. This is the matter where most are stuck. We tend toward activity and activism as the measure of our lives and this translates directly into our faith. The secret is a kind of passive posture before Jesus; where we cede control over to him, allowing ourselves to be transformed by his activity on us—beholding him, delighting in him, learning to receive from him. This is the movement from transactional faith to transcendent faith; the journey from duty bound, discipline-oriented, functional religion to a “means of grace” approach to transformational faith. 

2. I know I make a lot of you and I becoming sowers for a great awakening, and I mean every word of it. The bigger truth, however, is that Jesus is THE sower for a great awakening and Jesus is in us. We are sowers by virtue of Jesus abiding with, in, and through us. Because Jesus is sowing for awakening, and Jesus is in us, we are sowing for awakening. 

3. In the modern era (and so far the post-modern era) the measure of engagement with the Bible has been study. While this is not bad, it is problematic because it tends to make the Bible an object upon which we act with our agendas and methodologies rather than the subject which acts upon us. We enter with a “mastery” paradigm rather than a “be mastered” approach. Study is a critical practice of engagement with the Bible, but it should come well into the process after significant prerequisite engagement which includes far more formational approaches to the text than pedagogical ones.

P. S.

Today begins the How to Take a Real Sabbath Rest learning experience (online course)! Here are three ways we hope this will help you: 1) Gain a whole new understanding of the mystery of time and how it works according to the Bible, 2) Appreciate how Sabbath forms our identity and vocation as Christians being conformed to the image of God, 3) Get tools for making Sabbath real and tangible in your life as well as those you love. We hope to see you there at at 6:00pm CST. Register here.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that I’m beginning to see the light. The fact that Jesus truly is the sower should be obvious, but because we call still remain somewhat affected by the Old Adam, we find it hard to let go and to totally surrender our lives to Jesus. This is why the Sword of the Spirit is so often used against other believers rather than the forces of darkness. A well instructed student of the Word can easily slip into Phariseehood.

  2. Jesus doesn’t sow so-so Christianity

    If we want to really grow
    In Christ the Lord
    It’s not enough to study
    Until we know
    A lot of Bible information.
    We need to allow Jesus,
    The living Word
    To plant and sow,
    Fertilize and hoe,
    And cause His seeds
    To take deep root in our heart
    Until they flourish and grow,
    And release within us
    A never-ending flow
    Of the fruit of God’s Spirit.
    Then our life won’t ever be
    So-so.

  3. Not only is Jesus the Sower, but He is also the soil shifter. Through Him, all the impurities of the soil (soul) are removed. He is the filter our lives should be run through; every action, decision, and thought.
    2 Corinthians 10:5
    We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
    Learning to become like the One

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