God molded a pile of dirt into the form of a man. He lovingly pinched and squeezed and pressed us into a shape that could receive His breath of life. Then He breathed life into us. Jesus did the same thing. He “molded” and “shaped” and “pinched” the men with Him until they were ready and His mission was complete. He set the example and demonstrated what it looks like to walk this Earth and bring the Kingdom to the world. Now, finally they were ready and all things had been accomplished. He breathed the Holy Spirit into the men with Him. They received the same breath of life. For the first time since the fall, man was completely reconciled to God. They were no longer just regular old piles of dirt (human) but were a new creation. They were no longer just mere men but Sons of God. They were no longer just jars of clay but vessels of the Holy Spirit. Those regular old piles of dirt were transformed into the “made in God’s image” creation that God intended. There was no longer anything, anything at all in any realm of any power that could keep a pile of dirt from becoming a Son of God. Yay! We win.
So when you read the parables about seeds and dirt and kingdom and general farming techniques, what do you see? Here is a good one:
Luke 8:4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (ESV)
The part we miss is we are all just regular old dirt in our human nature. If we are born again we are a child of God. We are a new creation but we are still a pile of regular old dirt with a born again spirit (tree) growing and growing. We are a tree that has been planted in a pile of dirt. We are a seed of the Kingdom pressed into a pile of regular old dirt. We are still human and a Son of God at the same time. The two together is the new thing, the new creation. So when you hear about seed and rocks and weeds and stuff remember we are just regular old dirt.
Sometimes we have really hard packed places where the “word of the Kingdom” or the “seeds of the Kingdom” can’t penetrate. We need a little tilling and plowing and lots of soaking by the living water of the Holy Spirit to break up that caleche that is hard as concrete. Sometimes we have stones and rocks and big mountains that can’t sustain the seeds of truth in our lives. We stop believing the truth at the first sign of trouble. Circumstance and situations seem to have more power than God in our lives.
Then the weeds show up. The lies of the enemy are ever-present. They take all forms and come from all kinds of really “nice” people. The nice little religious lady steps up and says, “you know honey that what you are saying about Grace is too good to be true so you need to really try harder to be a better person or there is a fire in your future.” (something like that). Maybe someone comes up and says “you know that this bad stuff in your life is what God gave you so you would not get too proud.” It goes on and on. You are a pile of dirt with all of these issues that Jesus describes. Wisdom is to recognize what is in your pile. Power from God cultivates the soil. Faith in Jesus keeps weeds from taking root. The Holy Spirit removes rocks. All around your roots is a pile of regular old dirt.
Then there are parables like this one:
Matt 13:24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (ESV)
And the explanation:
Matt 13:36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (ESV)
Remember you are a pile of dirt. Actually you are a tree growing in a pile of dirt. Either way you are the dirt pile and everything in it. Now Jesus compares the “seed” to the sons of the Kingdom. You are already a Son of God. So what is Jesus talking about?
The “world” is the word Kosmos. You may recognize it as all of the universe. Seed grows in dirt. All our individual piles of dirt are in the Kosmos. So the seed of the “sons of the Kingdom” are the seed of a truth. What truth? Your IDENTITY! Come on. Can you see it? When Jesus breaths His Spirit into your dirt pile, the seed of you comes alive. When He plants seeds of the Kingdom in your dirt they are seeds of “who you are.” God waters these seeds with living water, the Holy Spirit.
We get to water other people’s seed with our living water from our bellies. We get to pour into other people’s identity in Jesus. We get to call forth the Sons of God. God brings increase to that seed that is becoming a tree that grows and grows.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed. It grows into a huge tree. Our faith is like a mustard seed. It grows and grows from faith to faith. We are growing up into who God says we are. We are no longer just a pile of regular old dirt. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Notice the most important thing in this passage. God sends the angels at the right time. They pull out the lies when the truth has grown to maturity. We bring increase to someone’s identity. God gets rid of the garbage at just the right time. We don’t pull weeds. We water truth. And just in case you didn’t know, we are now at the end of the ages:
Heb 9:26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (ESV)
So it is OK for you to know that you are a pile of regular old dirt and so much more. It is OK to be human. You have permission to be human. Don’t be disgusted with what is part of you. Realize that dirt is just dirt. It isn’t evil dirt. It came from the Earth that God created. God gives it a form and receives life from God. Instead look for the stones and weeds. Let God cultivate and soften and prepare you for more seeds of truth. Let God make you the best pile of regular old dirt you can be. Imagine how the seeds of faith will grow and grow when the dirt is fertilized and watered? I like that I am regular old dirt. I’m good with that. God really loves this dirt pile. He makes His home here.