Parable of the Sower
The parable of the sower sheds great light on what happens
in churches when individuals make public decisions to follow Jesus Christ and
then drop out of sight. Our situation is not much different than in Jesus’ day
when the masses of people had rejected Him (Matthew 11:16-24). They could not
understand the deeper things about the kingdom of God. However, the disciples
responded to His teaching and believed on Him.
It is at that point in His ministry that Jesus began to
teach using parables, which are earthy stories with heavenly meanings. Jesus
deliberately chose to withhold further truth about Himself and the kingdom from
the masses. When the crowds heard the parables, it seemed to them little more
than an interesting but pointless story that taught no profound spiritual
On the other hand, the disciples heard Jesus teaching the
parables and their powers of spiritual perception developed and Jesus' teachings
on the kingdom became clearer to them.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus explained that the seed
is the gospel of the kingdom, and the soil is the human heart (Matthew
13:3-23). “The kingdom of heaven” comes with the preaching of the gospel of
Jesus Christ and the planting of His Word in the heart of the listeners. The
“seed” is God’s Word, and the “soil” represents different kinds of hearers and
the response of their hearts to the Word (Romans 10:17; Matt. 13:9; Mark 4:24;
The parable tells us that there are some listeners whose hearts are hard as a
stone. They will not hear. Their hearts are like a packed down road. “When
anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one
comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom
seed was sown beside the road” (Matthew 13:19). Sin hardens the
heart until it is like concrete.
Jesus came preaching God’s sovereign rule in the minds and hearts of men, and
they refused to listen to His message and surrender their wills to Him. They do
not want God being the boss of their lives.
God says that if we are willing, He will remove from our heart of stone and
give us a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to
walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances" (Ezekiel
What is the condition of my heart? Is it as hard as a rock, or is it soft
and pliable as tissue? How tragic when we persist in our stubborn rejection of
God’s offerings of grace.
Jesus also said that some hearts are shallow like soil where, “The seed was
sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately
receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary,
and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he
falls away” (Matthew 13:20-21).
These shallow hearts are attracted by the excitement and emotions. They make
a profession of faith publicly, but almost as suddenly as they professed they
quickly become apostate. They were never born spiritually. No spiritual
regeneration has taken place in their hearts. Just joining the church or being
baptized does not make you born again.
There are other listeners who are choked to death by worries of the world
(vv. 7, 22). “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked
them out” (Matthew 13:7).
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who
hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke
the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Matthew 13:22).
Materialism and humanism is our secular lifestyle, and it chokes us to
spiritual death. This kind of spiritual death does not rush upon a person
suddenly but gradually. Spiritual weeds grow slowly, but they in time strangle
the budding spiritual life that is there. When the Holy Spirit speaks, there is
always the reply, “Some other day, some other time; don’t bother me now.” The
life of spiritual ease takes over and “the worry of the world and the
deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. And
according to the world philosophy, “The person with the most toys wins,” but he
dies spiritually. So “What shall it profit a man if he gains the world but
looses His soul?”
Stony, shallow, strangled, or spiritual—which describes the soil of your
"And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold,
some sixty, and some thirty" (Matthew 13:8). What made the difference? Jesus
said, “good ground” (v.23). It is the “good ground” that “hears the Word and
understands it” and “bears fruit” (v.23). These are the ones who are born
Just as important as the soil is the fruit. Am I bearing kingdom fruit? (Cf.
Matt. 7:16; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 1:10; Rom. 1:13). When there is saving
faith in the heart there will always be fruit in the life.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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