Parables for a Sleeping Church: The Parable of the Forgetful Farmer

Friday is for Heart Songs

Corn Harvest“Parables for a Sleeping Church”
(Video Version HERE)

All of these parables are being story-boarded now and eventually, all of these modern day parables will be made into videos for use in churches who want to stimulate their people to make disciples of the nations.*

Hear then, . . .

The Parable of the Forgetful Farmer

A farmer went out to his fields and the harvest was ready. He revved up his combine and made one, then two, then three passes through his corn. At the end of his third pass, he knew that his bin was full and when he got to the end of the row, he turned and lined up his combine to make yet another pass.

Corn in the BinBut before he did, and because he was a religious man, he decided to thank God for the bounty of his harvest and so he turned his engine off, pivoted in his seat and examined the corn behind him. And from a heart filled with gratitude he cried out: “Thank You oh God, for the increase in this field. You have been good and You have supplied all our needs for another season. I give You praise and marvel at Your mercy and love. Thank You for all Your kindness and goodness. Amen.”

Approximately two hours later our farmer was still sitting in his combine, still gazing appreciatively at the corn in the bin of behind him. He hadn’t offloaded it to a truck for storage or distribution, but he did have a thorough measure of its value.

Two hours later, the combine had not moved; the farmer hadn’t either. He still stared at the corn in the bin, and when the sun went down, his family, believing he had had a breakdown of some kind, called the paramedics and carted him away to the hospital.

Mysteriously, he forgot the rest of the harvest. He had lost his health while staring at the corn in the bin of his combine and neglecting the harvest in his fields.

Let he who has ears to hear, hear what the farmer’s story teaches the churches of America.

Cf. John 4:35 and Luke 10:2

* This parable is in no way an attempt to improve upon the words of Jesus. It is simply an attempt to apply the import of the words of Christ to our lives today.

© 2013, Marty Schoenleber

3 thoughts on “Parables for a Sleeping Church: The Parable of the Forgetful Farmer

  1. It is easy to dwell on all the good things God has done in the past; so much so that we neglect the present. God is still a God of the miraculous; the God who changes hearts and draws His people to Himself. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few, maybe because we are too busy pondering past accomplishments and ministries to even see what God is doing in the here and now. He is a living God, constantly at work.

    This is a great parable and has really sparked a line of thought in regards to how I view my own walk. Am I resting on the laurels of past works, or am I looking with expectancy to the future of what God will continue to do? Am I willing to go forth or content to stay put? Thanks, Marty, for the challenge of this message!


  2. This came in by email from Roger Bowers: (I like it.)

    And the farmer was so pleased with what he had harvested, that he forgot about the rest of the harvest. Slowly but surely, the stalks of corn fell. When the farmer finally did refocus on the harvest, he found that there was very little left to harvest. Some had fallen to the wind and rain and other weather conditions. Some was eaten by the raccoons and the deer. Some had just grown week and weary and could not stand any longer.

    How sad was the day that the farmer returned to the field. If only he had refocused sooner, or better yet, not lost focus in the first place. He replanted, but the cost was immensely greater, and the farmer soon became overwhelmed with the task. He called for help but most of the people snubbed him. “How foolish you have been to forget about the harvest until too late.”

    But a few of his friends knew the value of the field and what it could produce, so they helped the farmer replant the seed. As the seed grew, there were volunteer seeds that also grew from the fallen corn. The harvest at the end of the next year was astounding!!

    Let us not discount the harvest after the fallen crop has been abandoned. Let us go forth and replant because the field is fertile.


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