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Scatter The Seed

John Collins12/11/2012In Acts 14 at Iconium, Paul is living example to why Jesus gave the parable of the planter and the seed.  

Iconium was mixed with both Jews and Gentiles.  It was a city of the Hittites in days gone by, later becoming part of the Persian empire until Darius III was defeated by Alexander the Great.  It was recognized by both Yahweh and pagan legend.  Iconium was believed to be the first city to rise after the Great Flood confirming the scriptures, while pagan legend claimed the city was the site of Perseus who defeated Gorgon Medusa and her wig of snakes and turned villagers to stone with her gaze.

Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue first, and persuaded a great number of both Jews and Greeks into the faith.  The seed was planted.

But there were unbelieving jews who did not accept Jesus as the redeemer of the new covenant.  The Mosaic Law would not permit the Jews to associate with the "unclean" Gentiles or their way of life.

These unbelieving Jews did not rise up against Paul and Barnabas -- they stirred up the Gentiles in such a way that the Gentiles did their work for them.  They "poisoned their minds" against the brothers and sisters of the faith.

Paul and Barnabas decided to fix this.  They remained a very long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, bearing witness to the word of His Grace.  They even did many signs and wonders by their hands before the people in order to persuade them back into the faith.

But the people were still divided.  Some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.  The division became so strong that an attempt was made to stone them by both the Jews and the Gentiles.  Finally, Paul and Barnabas left.

But the seed was planted.

Sometimes, as Christians, we think that we need to be the ones to water the seed.  When we speak to others about Christ, we feel that we have to nurture them into the faith, bombarding them with our ideas and doctrines rather than just the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The seed.  

God does the watering, and God provides the Sonlight.  All that is needed is for us to plant the seed, to tell them that Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the law.  How he died for our sins and our salvation, and rose again so that we might rise with Him.  All we need to tell them is the simple Gospel, and how that faith in Jesus Christ grants us salvation by God's unmerited favor with us.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we plant the seed and let God do the nurturing?  Or do we take the seed back out of God's hands, trying to forcefully make it grow.  Do we shine florescent lights of the doctrines of men upon the seed trying to force the first sprout, or do we let God provide His Sonlight to carefully grow the seed?  Are we responsible for delaying some seeds that are not growing?