God is a good Gardner. He gave Man his beginning in a garden. He created us in His image and likeness and breathed His life into us. Yet, when Adam sinned, all of mankind lost the Life and personal Words of God.
Jesus had an affinity for gardens too. Often it was His place of prayer and communion with the Father, just as in the beginning. On the night of his betrayal, Jesus was in a garden. He, the seed, prepared himself to be planted to produce a harvest. And the veil of separation created by Adam came crashing down with the planting of Jesus.
John’s gospel begins by proclaiming that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So what does this have to do with a garden, you ask? The planting of the Word (Jesus) gave us a way back into God’s life and the ability to abide in His Word.
Jesus explained in the parable of the sower that the seed is the Word. You have to plant the seed to see growth and produce a harvest. In a garden, everything is either growing or dying. Nothing grows without constant watering and pruning. Without either, the plant will eventually produce less and less until nothing at all.
In another passage, Paul writes that he planted and Apollo’s watered. The gospels are full of parables that refer to God as the husbandman and that He expects a harvest. By them, we understand that we are responsible for what we do with the Word (seed).
We must plant the Word. That means preparing our hearts to receive it by making room for it. Then we plow and till, removing any hindrances and obstacles. Robert V. Bosworth said, “If all farmers treated their seed as millions of church members today treat God’s “imperishable seed,” the world would starve to death.”
If we believed in the sustaining power of the Word, we would plant and eat regularly. We would care for and till our gardens. Our harvest would then produce the seed for others to plant and have a harvest. A seed is worthless unless you plant it. It will only reach its potential when planted.
Discipleship is also the planting of the seed. In a world that is planting weeds of corruption faster than we can pull them, it is imperative that we tend the gardens of our children. If you desire to make disciples, start at home. Jesus prayed before going to the cross, “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me…While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost…” John 17:6-12
Let’s be vigilant Gardners, planting, watering, and pruning our lives to produce a bountiful harvest. Jesus said, “He who abides in Me, and I (the Word) in him, bears much fruit. For without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5 Yet we are encouraged in Matthew 19:26, “With God, all things are possible.” Amen.