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Summary: The parable of the sower shows us how we are to receive the good news of Jesus Christ

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3. Ground with thorns: This soil was infested with thorny plants, common in most of the areas of Israel - especially Judea, large bushes of thorns that had to be cut down, Romans made a crown of thorns for Jesus out of them, these thorns would grow up and totally overtake the good plants and kill them by a lack of nutrients and sunlight

4. Good soil: This is the soil that is productive and alive, sufficient support for the seeds to root and grow, totally favorable conditions for fruitfulness, the ground was receptive for the seed,

IV. The Purpose

A. Jesus speaks with the disciples: after the crowds had left, the disciples asked about the parable, normal format was to explain these teaching to everyone, Jesus held the mysteries of heaven, divine Truth not revealed to the saints of the OT, Jesus has come to find the faithful and build the Kingdom, He both reveals the Truth and conceals it at the same time, those who will understand will gain a great and ever increasing reward, those who do not understand will lose even what they understand and will be lost

B. To conceal: Jesus conceals new Truth about the Kingdom, people who keep hearing but do not understand - they will lose the whole truth, people who keep on seeing but never perceive - they will lose the whole truth, they have closed their hearts to the message of God, they will lose the whole truth, this is a judgment on those who will not believe,

C. To reveal: Truth is a blessing to those who believe, gospel is not bad news, those who see and hear and believe will be blessed, the full blessing of God has come into the world through Jesus, Jesus came to give understanding to the people, the task of ministry,

V. The Meaning of the Parable - Four Types of Listeners

A. The Unresponsive Hearer: Like hard packed soil, the heart of these people is hardened, totally indifferent to anything spiritual, the word makes no penetration and no impact upon the hearer, the word is then stolen away before it influences, the person is totally open to Satan’s attack, self sufficient, self satisfied, self serving and often self righteous

B. The Superficial Hearer: Like soil on limestone bedrock, The response is quick but the commitment is shallow, emotional excitement over the new found faith, change is on the surface - not in the heart, when the hard part of living the Christian life hits - the cost of discipleship, the person quickly falls away, they have no firm root and they do not have the strength to stand, no true penetration of the word,

C. The Worldly Hearer: Like soil with thorns, the response is positive at first, as the world creeps in it covers and kills the impact of the word on the person, the person is more concerned about wealth and the cares of the world than the work of God

D. The Receptive Hearer: Like good soil, the response is given and the word is allowed to take root and to grow in the person, the heart is prepared by the Spirit for the word, just as ground is prepared for seed to be sown, these people hear the word understand it and accept it, not intellectual understanding but God given Spiritual understanding, true believers produce fruit, those who believe in Christ must be fruitful, they must be extremely productive,

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