Work on the Good Soil.
One of my favorite parables that Jesus tells is the parable of the Sower. I think because the lesson has been so influential in my life, in particular on how I tell people about Jesus.
The parable is told in Matthew 13: 3 - 9:
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
What is more is that I don’t even have to try to break this down! Jesus does it for us in verses 18-23:
8 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 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 what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
A few things stand out to me that always grab my attention. The seed that fell along the path, is one who hears and does not understand… maybe they don’t study or they don’t weight the truth.
The seed that falls on rocky ground, is VERY familiar to me. Those that hear the word and respond with joy immediately, but as soon as hard times come, they return to sin because they have not allowed the gospel to take root. I believe this to mean that there is sin that has been exposed and ignored. The truth has shown them what to deal with, but the consequences are much too hard to deal with. I see this so much today. Those that love the saving grace of the gospel, but there are sins that are so rooted in their lives that they refuse to rip out because the consequences would be too much to bear. Maybe you have seen this too? Maybe those loved ones even begin to pull on those rooted sins and the pain drives them away?
The third, the thorns, is also very familiar. Those that hear and just desire what the world has to offer much greater than they desire truth.
Notice the good soil. It is one who hears, understands, allows the truth to take root and over take the roots of sin and finally bears fruit. The fruit yield varies, but Jesus still calls it good and the soil good.
This week, let’s ask our Father to till good soil in our hearts. Let’s study to understand. Let’s address the deep roots of sin so that when trials come, we will not return to it. Let’s work on our good soil!
Soli Deo Gloria