“Then He told them many things in parables, saying, ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed (speaking of Himself and His Word). As He was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop- a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:1-9
Sooooo…Which soil best describes you? Jesus was speaking to a mixed audience, very much like I’m doing right now. He also used the word SCATTERED. Jesus was very intentional in the way He used certain words. Scattering at first glance may imply carelessness, but not so in this instance. This Word (seed) must be caught on purpose or it will fall on… I think you’re getting it. I’m always fascinated by how we can all hear the same thing at the same time, yet come away with varying opinions. Jesus said in Luke 8:18 “Consider carefully how you LISTEN.” Very interesting play on words, since we just read in Matthew 13, “let him HEAR.”
My friends, we can hear without listening, but we cannot listen without hearing. Let me explain. If I have the radio, television and my daughter speaking at and to me at the same time, I’m hearing but I’m not listening. To listen, one has to be intentional and focused.
Notice Jesus did not say SEEDS but SEED. This metaphor was not being used to speak of natural seeds for a natural harvest, but of spiritual: The seed being sown here was His Word; the soil therefore, represents how the hearer positions himself to receive what is being sown. My daughter, as a little girl would take my face in her little hands and say, “Mommy, you’re not listening to me!” This explains why some folks can tell you how good the sermon was, but can’t share what it was about. This hearer is like the seed that fell in rocky places. Their body is present …you may finish my thought.
In this parable Jesus addressed four ways in which we receive His Word.
The road side: Hearing without understanding. So the enemy/Satan steals the Word sown. Verse 19
Rocky: Excited to hear the Word but without a foundation/root system, the excitement is short lived. At the first sign of testing they’re gone like the road runner. Verses 20-21
Thorny: They hear the Word, but the cares of life choke or cause them to question or doubt what they’ve heard rendering the Word ineffective and unproductive. Verse 22
Listening/hearing and understanding (good) soil: This hearer produces a harvest in varying degrees. Hundred, sixty thirty times more than what was sown. Verse 23
How we hear God’s Word and respond, will eventually surface to reveal the ground in which it is sown. We can read these messages with a nonchalant attitude, or we can determine to act upon them. You may choose to guard God’s Word or let the enemy steal it. Your action or inaction, sets the stage for a dynamic or lackluster Christian life. Whoever has ears, let THEM hear!
God’s Word is alive! (Hebrews 4:12) it’s meant to transform us into His Image, make us vibrant and productive. So don’t just read these messages and say how nice!! Meditate on and consider what you have read. Endeavor to be that good soil. Be the difference maker in someone’s life today by sharing not just forwarding, what has made a difference in you.
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus, that’s You! You became one of us; not so we would remain the same, but that we’d become more like You! Help me by your Spirit, to allow your Word to transform and renew my mind, so that I’ll go from merely hearing to listening. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen
I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit.