Summary: The Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil. Are you involved in the process?
And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear! But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ’Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’" And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." Mark 4:1-20
Are You Involved?
Jesus taught His disciples through parables in the last year of His ministry on earth. The purpose of the parables was to hide His teachings from unbelievers who were seeking to kill Him. His disciples should understand the earthly descriptions of a heavenly truth. In fact the word Parable means “to throw alongside.” This specific parable illustrates the importance of three aspects of God’s Kingdom.
Introduction – Too afraid to plant
A Georgia farmer, ragged and barefooted, was standing on the steps of his tumbledown shack. A stranger stopped for a drink of water and just to pass the time of day he asked: "How is your cotton coming along?" he asked. "Ain’t got none," replied the farmer. "Did you plant any?" asked the stranger. "Nope," was the reply, "afraid of bollweevils." "Well," continued the stranger, "how is your corn?" "Didn’t plant none," came the answer, "’fraid there weren’t going to be no rain." The visitor persevered: "Well, how are your potatoes?" "Ain’t got none. Scairt - of potato bugs." "Really, what did you plant?" pressed the stranger. "Nothin’," was the calm reply, "I jest played safe."
Too often, we as members of God’s earthly body are playing it safe in the church. God never intended for us to be a country club or earthly organization that meets without spiritual results. Our responsibility is to sow seed daily that we may reap a spiritual harvest.
The INTEGRITY of the Sower.
The sower exhibits integrity because he has a responsibility to work hard. In doing this we find that he’s reliable. He gets up every morning to tend to the fields which may be several miles away from his house. The crops won’t grow if he doesn’t how the rows and remove the weeds.
He is also diligent. His family won’t survive if he doesn’t work the fields. He works as if everything depends upon him and trusts God to do only what God can do.
He also knows adversity. The farmer experiences hardships and difficulties. He understands what drought and floods can do to his crops.
Illustration – Farmer & Methods
Paul Powell once said “Many churches today remind me of a laboring crew trying to gather in a harvest while they sit in the tool shed. They go to the tool shed every Sunday and they study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and then get up and go home. Then they come back that night, study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes and grease their tractors and go home again. They come back Wednesday night, and again study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and get up and go home. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out, and nobody ever goes out into the fields to gather in the harvest.”