Read This Week’s Passage: Luke 8:5–15
The Analogy of Agriculture
Though our society is consumed with technology, convenience, automation, and digitalization, there is a sense of hi-tech fatigue that has begun to encroach on our fascination with it. Upcoming generations seem to be opting for smaller houses, a back-to-nature philosophy, organic and healthy eating, all amid rising environmental concerns. Though we may be a bit removed from the agrarian stages of civilization, we still need to eat and need agriculture to survive. It is amazing that Christ utilized illustrations that are so fundamental to any human experience that they will never be antiquated. Even urban disciples have to eat and are at least acquainted with the basic concepts of agriculture. As one of His teaching methods, Christ used these every day familiar activities to illustrate larger spiritual truths.
While the parable itself has many principles to mine in the context of Luke 8, the next five weeks take a look at the process of discipleship through the illustration of agriculture. Also known as the Grow Cycle, the course of soul-winning, discipleship, and evangelism is likened to the activity of growing food and fruit. The stages of the cycle consist of preparing the soil, planting the seed, cultivating the plant, harvesting the yield, and preserving the fruit.
This week hones into the stage of soil preparation. Even before the harvest and the planting of seeds, there is a crucial preparation work to be done that ensures a healthy growth process and bountiful harvest for the disciple. “As the garden must be prepared for the natural seed, so the heart must be prepared for the seed of truth” (Adventist Home, p. 145).