Summary: “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” Matthew 13:23.
Theme: Fruits of God’s Word
Text: Gen. 25:19-34; Rom. 8:1-11; Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23
A parable serves to reveal spiritual truths by using earthly illustrations. In the parable about the sower Jesus Himself explains the parable. Just as seeds are planted to yield a harvest so the word of God is planted to yield a harvest. A seed that does not grow and yield a harvest has failed to fulfil its purpose. In the same way the Word of God that does not yield a harvest has failed to fulfil its purpose. Jesus Christ in today’s parable explains why many who have heard the Word of God fail to live out God’s purpose for their lives and do not bear the fruits of God’s Word.
The Word of God is spirit and it is life and it addressed to every person. Since every living thing grows and bears fruit, the purpose of God’s Word is to bear fruit in every body’s life. Jesus calls the Word of God seed. A seed has life in itself but must be planted to bear fruit. In the same way, the Word of God that is life must be planted to grow and bear fruit. The soil for the planting of the Word of God is the heart of man. It cannot bear fruit anywhere else. Planting the Word of God involves hearing it, accepting it, believing it, and meditating on it. Every seed needs light, water and nutrients to grow and bear fruit. The Word of God likewise needs the light of the glory of God, His trustworthiness and faithfulness, to shine in our hearts to grow. (2 Cor. 4:6) The Word of God needs to be watered with a heart attitude of thankfulness and thanksgiving and the necessary nutrients made available through an intimate relationship with Christ.
Abraham believed the Word of God and it was counted to him for righteousness. He had absolute faith in the promise of God to give him a son. His new name Abraham meant ‘father of many nations’. He was called Abraham at a time when he had no children but believed God would honour His Word. Isaac went through a similar experience and he also believed God till Rebecca bore the fruit of Esau and Jacob. Esau was blessed with the birthright of the first born. However, he did not value his birthright and sold it for a bowl of soup. When we ask God for anything He gives us a seed to plant and what we ask for can be found in the harvest. If you ask God for mangoes, He will give you mango seeds. If you ask for oranges He will give you orange seeds. But if you do not value the seed God gives you and plant if you will not receive what you ask for. We have often asked God for many things but do not value the seed that He gives us. What we have asked for is in the harvest and there can be no harvest when we do not value the seed. We can only fulfil our divine destiny when we believe and value the Word of God. It contains the seeds we need to bear fruit in our lives. We need to hear it, study it, accept it, believe it and meditate on it.
Today’s parable compares our lives or our hearts to various types of soil. Although every soil comes from the same earth they are different because of what they had gone through or what had been added to them. This is the same with our hearts. The growth of every seed depends on the right soil. Seeds that fall on the wayside cannot even penetrate the soil because it is so hard and only serves as food for the birds. The hard soil refers to the person who has closed his mind and heart to God. They believe they have no need for God and their hardened hearts prevent them from believing and being saved. The rocky soil, as the name implies, contains rocks. The seed penetrates the soil and begins to grow till its roots can no longer sustain any growth because of the rocks. This type of soil refers to the person who hears the Word of God, receives it with joy and accepts it. However, as soon as he faces trials and persecutions, pressure from circumstances or former friends, mockery, or abuse he abandons the Word. What rock is preventing the Word of God from growing in your heart? The thorny soil has thorns in it and seed that falls among thorns is choked as soon as it begins to grow. The thorns compete with the seeds and grow at the expense of the seeds. The thorns refer to those things that compete with the Word of God for our attention and loyalty. They come in the form of worry, desire for wealth and desire for pleasure. The seed of the Word of God cannot grow if the thorns of our own agendas and priorities crowd it out.