You have no idea how much I love reading and studying the Parables of Jesus. Here is one of my favorite parables:
“And He [Jesus] spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”” Matthew 13:3-9 NASB
Do you see that last statement?
“He who has ears, let him hear.” Amen! Very important message and Jesus wants to make sure that His hearer bear the parable in mind.
And here is the meaning of the parable according to Jesus:
““Hear then the parable of the sower. 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. The one on whom 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. 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. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”” Matthew 13:18-23 NASB
As you can see, there are a “sower,” with “seeds” and four types of “places” or “lands,” technically, two types of lands: One that bears fruit and the other one bears no fruit. The land that bears no fruit has three characters: One is located at the roadside, the other one is on the rocky place and the third one is that land that is surrounded by thorns.
According to the word of God, the sower is any “vessel” God uses to send His words through, mainly, human beings. The seed represents “the word of the kingdom,” the word of God.
What about the places? What do those places represent?
Those different lands or places represent the condition of our hearts.
God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, His word, to earth and His word comes to all of us in different ways and means but as the word of God says, we usually are not conscious of it.
“For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.” Job 33:14 ESV
The word of the kingdom comes to us and fells on our hearts (which represents our minds, emotions and wills which sometimes are also collectively called as our “souls.”
From the above parable, we see that the determining factor for the seed to give fruit does not fell on the sower, nor on the seed but on the condition of the land.
Once God sends His word, His word comes and lands on human hearts. The question is on which “heart” the seed falls.
Some seeds “fell beside the road” – the land is found beside the road, the place anything and everything passes by and through. That is like a heart that is welcoming to hear and watch anything and everything, like sitting in front of a screen or social media and mindlessly scrolling and watching and hearing everything. This “heart” hears the word of God but since there are many competing “words” coming to this same “heart,” one entertainment show or news, one picture steals away the truth of God from this heart. That means, the person cannot live out the word of God because the word of God comes to that heart/mind but doesn’t stay.
Some seed “fell on the rocky places,” – this is the heart that is not guarded and well taken care of and prepared to plant the seed. These people hear the word of God but they won’t put what they learned into practice because what they heard disappears from their callous heart, a heart that is dead to the things of God.
Some seeds “fell among the thorns” – these people, their hearts and minds are taken over by “the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth.” They have no time, energy and desire to think about anything else but to be wealthy, healthy and famous! So, the word of God comes to their hearts but “dies
As you can see, the above seeds fell on lands which have no ability or potential to give fruit. That is why I put them in one category: Fruitless lands.
The only land that bears fruit is “the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil.” This represents, “the man who hears the word and understands it,” and “who indeed bears fruits.”
Do you see the difference?
It is not only important to hear but to take time to understand it. We sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, become “spoon-feed Christians.”
A person who is “spoon-fed” cannot be an adult but an infant. If he is not an infant, he sure is in a vegetative state because of ailments.
Spoon-fed Christians are the ones who only like to listen to messages. They don’t sit, read, study and understand the word of God for themselves. So, the word of God does not take root in their lives. They are totally dependent on the life and messages of another Christian.
Well, what is the gist of today’s message?
Unless we dig deep into the word of God by ourselves, we CANNOT bear any of the fruit of the Spirit which is the evidence of our new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
““I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” John 5:1-6 ESV
A branch has to stay attached to the vine to bear fruit. In the same way, my friend, you and I are like branches and unless we abide in “the word of God,” attaching ourselves to the Vine, we cannot bear fruit.
We need to take a good care of our hearts and minds as we carefully choose the things we let our eyes see, our ears hear and our minds to dwell on.
The word of God says,
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NASB
What does that mean? It means we can choose what to dwell on! We have God-given capacity to choose what to think.
Guarding our eyes, ears and minds means guarding our hearts. As we guard our hearts, we bear the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NASB
That is why the word of God says,
“Be careful what you think,
because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NCV ///