Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Parable of The Beans

My wife and I used to have a garden many years ago. We enjoyed planting things and watching them sprout and then grow. Our only problem was the soil where we live is really sandy. It drains well . . . TOO well. Our plants suffered greatly from lack of nutrition and lack of water. Eventually our plants would wither and die. We gave up trying to grow anything. Until THIS year!

Very early in the spring I bought and planted some seeds - green bean seeds - and started growing them indoors. The cats enjoyed eating those. So I planted some more seeds, this time in the safety of box with a lid. Lid off during the day, on during the night. That worked. Yay!

When my green bean seedlings were ready I planted them outside in containers. The containers were filled with rich, nutrient-filled soil. The bean plants thrived and I was getting pretty excited about the possibility of eating our own green beans. Then one night while we were away, a cold front moved in and froze all the plants. Everyone of them died. I was sad. But I had some more seeds. There was hope.

So I planted those seeds right next to their dad friends. They too sprouted and soon they were overflowing the containers and were producing beans. I love beans!!

My wife and I go out to the containers every other night or so and pick beans. We gather a handful, bring them in and cook them up. The new beans plants are producing well, making far more beans than we had originally planted. Reminds me of a story . . .

"13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” - Matthew 13:1-9

Jesus could have been talking about growing beans, but He wasn't. He was talking about you and me - the people of this world - and our receiving God's Word. When my wife and I planted beans in our poor, sandy soil, the beans never did very well. They shot up quickly, but without nourishment and water they died.

Some of us hear God's Word and reject it, their hearts becoming frozen. They ultimately will perish just like my beans did in the frost.

But when God's Word is planted in the hearts of His chosen ones, it causes that person's faith to grow and flourish, WAY beyond what they might have had if left unattended in a dark and barren world. Here Jesus explains his parable.

"19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” - Matthew 13:18-23

Back in Jesus' day people depended on their crops to keep themselves alive. A killing frost or planting seeds in poor soil had real life or death consequences. The parable is difficult to understand is you've never plant seeds, or if you don't love beans, but God wants to see us grow in our faith . . grow closer to Him. Examine the "soil" YOU are planted in. Is it making you grow tall and strong? If it's not, perhaps it's time for a transplant. It could literally save your life.

Climbing Bean Time Lapse

No comments:

Post a Comment