Matthew 13.1–9, 18–23
Jesus was a storyteller.
A great storyteller.
His stories are called “parables”; among the best-known are the parables of the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan.
One of the things about Jesus’ parables is that we need to respond to them. Think of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was a member of a hated group of people. Today, Jesus might tell the story of the Good Moslem or — in some places — the Good Gay Man.
The Samaritan helps the man who was beaten up and robbed, while respectable people like a priest just pass by on the other side.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan leaves us with questions: do I pass by people in need? Do I stop to help? Which side am I on, am I part of the problem or part of the solution?
In an age of people seeking asylum and finding no welcome — is there “no room at the inn”? — these become very real questions.
In the same way, the Parable of the Sower brings a question to us: what kind of “soil” am I? The sower scatters the seed, but will the seed grow? Will the seeds of God’s Good News take root in my life?
Let me tell you another story. It’s the story of a woman who had the strangest dream.
In her dream, she is wandering around in a large shopping centre. Suddenly, she notices a shop which takes her fancy. She wanders in — and of all people, she finds Jesus behind the counter. Jesus says the most wonderful thing to her: “You can have anything your heart desires.”
Astounded, amazed, but excited, she asks for “Peace, joy, happiness, wisdom, and freedom from fear.” Then she adds, “and not just for me, but for the whole earth.” Jesus smiles and says, “I think you misunderstand me. We don’t sell the finished product, we only sell seeds.”