Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!”
Here Jesus offers his methodology for acquiring new disciples. Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God, but does so in parables. Parables are stories with a spiritual/moral message – yet not everyone understands the parables. But some people do. Why? Because God the Father has prepared them to hear the message and respond in faith. Jesus doesn’t know which people in a given crowd will become his disciples, but he doesn’t have to. All he does is scatter the seed of the message of the Kingdom and wait to see who gets it.
As a pastor I do something similar. We regularly have visitors to the church I serve, but I never know which new visitors are going to stick around and which will not. So my job is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and wait to see who responds. The key is that the results are not up to me. Either God the Father has prepared a new person to respond in faith or not.
Lord make me a faithful preacher of the gospel. And give me eyes to see those whom you’ve called to stick around. Amen.