In the last post on this blog we looked at Jesus’ explanation of why He spoke in parables. I have really enjoyed meditating on these parables as our home Bible study continues through Matthew. This parable is very well know and is a key in many ways to understanding all of the others.
Matthew 13: 3 – 9 The Parable of the Sower was Taught by Jesus while sitting in a boat near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Afterward He challenged everyone, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” I pray that we like His disciples will seek to understand the “mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven” revealed in these passages.
In Matthew 13: 18, Jesus began to explain what the parable meant. “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Jesus had already told the disciples that He spoke in parables (vs 10 – 15) because some of the people had hearts that were not ready, ears that were not willing, and eyes that were closed. Jesus’ explanation of the parable illustrates that the word of the Kingdom (God’s Word) is like seed being sown; it is received by people in 4 different ways.
Of the 4 different ways that word of God is heard and received by people, first there are those who do not understand at all, and it is snatched away by the evil one (Satan). Then there are those that receive the word and seem to have some response, but due to the dullness of their hearts, ears that were not willing to hear, or the pressures and cares of the world (tribulation and persecution) , along with deceitfulness of riches, they do not let the word produce the fruit of life that God wants from us.
Notice that at some point in our lives many of us do have prepared hearts that are ready to receive God’s word and allow it to take root. The word is growing in us, renewing us, transforming us, teaching us what “fruit” our Lord Jesus seeks to produce from our lives.
The Apostle Peter writing to Christians, presented fruitful growth this way, 2 Peter 1: 5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
Galatians 5:22 The Apostle Paul reminds us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
The wonderful teaching in this parable by Jesus is the promise that as we submit ourselves to God’s word and allow it to permeate our hearts, God will bring forth the wonderful fruit of His righteousness in us, and produce in us godly character. Growing in His grace… Blessings Vince