Summary: The distinction of the hearers in the Parable of the Sower
The Quality of your Hearing
Matthew 13:1-8, 18-23
Luke 8: 18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: …
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Matthew 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
75% of those who hear the Gospel will never receive it to their enduring profit.
Our job is to make sure they have a clear opportunity to become fruitful hearers!
I. The Impenetrable hearer vs.4, 19
The only message that will do any spiritual good is the Gospel! It is sown in the heart.
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Jesus’ point is that natural men are as capable of living a godly life as “Dogs,” and “Swine!” Spiritual expectations imposed upon them can only breed hostility.
Does He look upon them with contempt?
Does He reject them?
Does He have any compassion for them?
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Matthew 9:36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (37) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; (38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
1 Peter 2:6-7 … Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
The Impenetrable hearer never seriously considers his need or Christ’s sufficiency!
II. The Shallow hearer vs.5-6, 20-21
Abraham Heschel wrote, “In the realm of theology, shallowness is treason.”
Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
Matthew 11:6 … blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Luke 9:23-25 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (24) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (25) For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
III. The Occupied hearer vs.7, 22
Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Your God will not be an add-on, a supplement in your heart!
Not… Philippians 3:7-9 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Precious—”Of great price, costly, valuable, very dear, highly esteemed, expensive.” People and things are said to be precious to us; yet, how much more precious to us should things of a spiritual nature be. Peter loved to use the word, “precious” in his epistles. Note Peter’s precious treasures.
1. Precious Trials—”That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth” (I Peter 1:7).
2. Precious Blood—”Redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18,19).
3. Precious Corner Stone—”To whom coming, as unto a living stone…chosen of God, and precious…a chief corner stone, elect, precious” (I Peter 2:4, 6).