I was reading about the familiar parable of seeds spread on various types of ground found in Luke 8. I was troubled by the fact that the seeds that grew fell on beautiful, good, noble soil. How is it that Jesus describes the good soil as good beautiful people before the seed lands on it? Isn’t the gospel for lost and hurting sinful people?
It is intriguing to look at the nestling of bible stories among one another. So seeking an explanation to my dilemma I read what was before and after this story. Before is about a sinful woman, after is about being a lamp on a stand, Jesus’ “real” mother and brothers, Jesus calming the storm with his disciples. All these were about true followers of Jesus, the “good soil”, the people Jesus portrays in the parable as beautiful, noble, of a good heart.
The woman was bold to wash Jesus’ feet, basically worshiping him among people who did not accept her socially. She knew who Jesus was and came to him, honoring him with her tears not so much caring about what others thought.
The lamp stand people are those who carefully listen to the Word and display it for the world to see. They are people who don’t hide their faith, and more is given to them.
Jesus’ true mother and brothers are those who fear God and obey, not those who have a birthright.
And the real disciples are those who have faith in the power of Jesus and can trust him in a storm.
These are the examples of the good soil. So yes good soil can be sinners, and it is not by birth or association but rather people who listen to the Word and pass it on, who trust, and have faith despite the circumstances.
Thank God that the good soil is described this way – as what is “beautiful” from the inside and what motivates people, and those who have some understanding of who Jesus is compared to themselves. This is the good soil, these are the truly beautiful people.