Metaphors are used to describe the indescribable by highlighting one aspect of many. They are slivers.
1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand…[metaphors and personification]
Yesterday, we looked at the metaphor of being born again in 1 John 3:9,
9 No one who is born [metaphor #1] of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed [metaphor #2] abides in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
Jesus used metaphors all the time to describe the indescribable kingdom of God (Matthew called it the kingdom of heaven out of deference for his fellow Jews as per the leadership, who took offense to using God’s name in everyday conversation). Jesus used the seed as a big way to describe what happens to us when we walk in the light of our heavenly Father. Let’s look at some passages,
The Sower and the Seed (of the Good News of Jesus)-Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23: This parable is about those who listen and heed–some not at all, some selectively, some with reservation, and then some wholeheartedly.
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32
The Parable of the Tares-Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43: Many see this parable as pertaining to the end days, but we must remember that the next major event on the horizon for the people of Israel was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. It was the final judgment (consequences) on the rulers, thus the majority of the people, who denied that Jesus was the Messiah and that He is God in the flesh. These people are the ones about whom John writes about in 1 John 4:1-6.
There are many others (search “seed” in the NT), but there is only one more I want to bring to our attention,
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:23-26
Jesus gave us an entire picture of the Gospel (what He was about to do for us) in the metaphor of the seed. Let’s break it down:
- The seed is personified and willingly gives its life to the ground, just like Jesus was about to do.
- The natural product of the seed is a stalk that produces many kernels (seeds). In the same way, Jesus died so that we all would be done with death and live forever (see Romans 8:1-2, 29).
- We, who have turned away from the Father, must give up what we think we want (even though it comes with dire consequences, one of the greatest being our fellowship with the Trinity) and turn back to Him. He IS eternal life (1 John 5:11-12.)
- Our service and our follow-ship are based upon trust. The question is, do we trust Jesus? The answer is in our obedience–or disobedience.
What it all boils down to is that there is no adequate way to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross, nor to describe what He offers everyone. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5); do we trust Him enough to believe Him? Are we willing to give up our darkness (John 3:21) and walk in His light (1 John 1:7)? It really is that simple. In turning to Jesus, we will be “born again,” and His “seed” will sprout in us. This message is GOOD NEWS, folks! Let’s share it!!!
Abba, I get all excited again when I “talk” about all You have done for us in Christ. May we truly get excited about having new life in Jesus. May the seed of Your Spirit grow much fruit in our lives as we walk with You every day, all day. Amen.