The Parable Of The Sower – Matthew Chapter 13
“Behold, a sower went forth to sow. And when he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up. (Matthew 13:3,4)
This seed (word of God) fell by the wayside (a hard surface not prepared for planting) and fowls (Satan and company) devoured them up (takes it away). This seed by the wayside speaks of those that hear the word, have no desire for it and allow Satan to steal that which was sown. They see no value in what they heard, turn from the truth, and will not come to the Lord in repentance and acceptance of the salvation message.
“Some fell on stony places, for they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” (verses 5,6)
The stony places suggest a shallow place (no depth) where there is some soil but rock is just below the surface. Jesus says of these individuals: “He who hears the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receives it.” There is a good start made here; they immediately believe the word and accept Christ. The Lord goes on to say: “yet he has not root in himself, but endures for a while.” There is some progress made because there is some soil, but the roots cannot grow down because of the rock below. Jesus explains the end result as follows: “For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended.”. They are offended after a short period of time due to tribulation or persecution and turn from the truth and lose their way.
“And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and chocked them.” (Verse 7)
This third group makes more progress than the previous two. The soil is good and the roots begin to grow, but thorns impede the growth of the planted word. Jesus explains: “The care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, chokes the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” These individuals make a good start and continue for a considerable amount of time, but are distracted by other things and become unfruitful (lost). Jesus said: ” Every branch (believer) in Me (the True Vine) that beareth not fruit (does not continue in faith) He takes away (removes from the Vine ).” The Lord loves us and is patient and longsuffering towards us, however, if we cease to believe then we have cut ourselves off from the love of God that is in Christ.
“But other fell on good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. ” (verse 8)
This last group eagerly receives the word with hungry hearts under the conviction of sin. They understand that they are sinners in need of forgiveness. They accept the Lord’s work on the Cross and come to Him with great joy. They continue to yield to God, and as a result, bring forth “good fruit” (Christian growth). Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. ” The result is that the Holy Spirit can bring forth good fruit because of the fertile soil (hungry receptive heart).
“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (verse 9)
This verse points to the fact that all will be held accountable by the Lord for what they have heard (i.e the Word), and will be judged for what they did with it. Those in the first group hear the Word and reject it. The second group accepts the Word and begins to live for the Lord, but because of tribulation and persecution falls away. The third group starts out well and continues for a considerable period of time, but eventually is distracted by the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches and loses their way. The final group eagerly accepts the word and yields themselves to the Lord, resulting in the Holy Spirit working mightily (hundredfold, sixtyfold, thirtyfold) in their life.
It’s disconcerting to note that only one in four of those that heard the word continued in it. Three out of four did not. Sadly, I believe church history proves this out. Matthew 7:14 explains the reason for this: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow the way (faith in Christ Crucified) which leads to life, and few there be that find it.” We can only find life by our continued faith on a daily basis in the One that offers that life to us. Jesus speaks of this in John chapter 15: ” I am the Vine, you are the branches: he who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit.” Everything that we receive from God comes exclusively through what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. This must always be the object of our faith. It alone allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to bring forth the fruit that will bring the victory that we so desire. Jesus is the True Vine. Our life is in Him and Him alone.
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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com