Summary: The parable of the seed and the Sower is a snapshot of any society and most likely any congregation. How a person responds to the Word of God indicates what type of soil they are. The seed is perfect. The Sower is generous. What type of soil are you?
Please take your Bibles and turn to Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 NIV
When I was a young teenager I actually did some broadcast sowing of seed. We were renting a field which was only a couple of acres and my Dad had plowed and dragged the field but we did not have a broadcast planter so we filled up buckets of buckwheat and walked through the field scattering the seed about and the seed brought a harvest!
Things to remember from last week:
Jesus is telling a parable - a short story that makes a spiritual point
The Lord is the Sower - He is not wasteful but generous
There is nothing wrong with the seed of the Kingdom of God
With those thoughts in mind let’s take a look at the four soil types:
Matthew 13:4, 19a NIV
“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up … when anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.”
What hardens the ground? In this case it is a path which has been stomped down over and over and over and over and over!
Hardness of heart can come from stamping down your own soul with sin over and over and over and over and over.
Of course, we think of those who are the infamous ones, Hitler, Stalin, Mao. Under these men millions upon millions died from murder, torture, slavery, starvation, genocide, etc.
Think of the hardness of the hearts of those who herded other humans including women and children into gas chambers day after day after day.
Such things will either make your heart so hard as to almost be impenetrable or drive you to insanity.
Think of the ultrasound technician who works in the abortionist’s office day after day after day. Making sure that the mother cannot see the monitor screen; carefully guiding the tools to best facilitate the destruction of the baby. And of the doctor who kills unborn babies for money. How hard must a heart be in order to enjoy the luxury of blood money?
And then think of one of these hardened people hearing a little snippet of the Gospel can they even think that it would ever be possible that there is a God who could forgive them, a God who sent His Son to die in the most horrible manner so that he could have eternal life? Would such a concept even be able to register in their brain or make it to their soul?
Obviously not … that is … apart from the grace of God, but then, we’re getting ahead of ourselves …
OK … those are the obvious ones but just as hardened can be those who scoff at the Lord and His followers day after day after day after day using His great name in vain day after day after day after day.
What about the next soil?
Matthew 13:5-6 NIV
“Some (seed) 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.”
When a seed sprouts its growth will go somewhere; either into the root system of the part of the plant above the ground.
If the soil is shallow there is nowhere for the roots to grow so the stem sprouts up. When the stem sprouts up and scorching heat comes the plant needs to draw water through its root system in order to replenish the lost fluid and with no root on rocky soil this will not happen and the plant dies.
Matthew 13:20-21 NIV
“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
This person is excited to hear the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ! They come to faith in Christ quickly!
This right here is exactly the testimony of Pastor Karenlee when she first was saved as a teenager! She was so excited when she heard the good news from a traveling singing group at her church that she was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. When they asked who wanted to receive Jesus as their Savior she immediately jumped to her feet and thought everyone else in the place would do so as well.
Now, after she was saved she didn’t exactly receive persecution but more like neglect. The church she attended never talked about sin and the need for a Savior so they didn’t know what to do with her. Her Mom and Dad were Christians in name only at that time. The never read the Bible or prayed except in church or in a canned prayer before eating. All of her friends from school were non-Christians with non-Christian attitudes. And, so, without depth of soil she just kind of shriveled up spiritually and when I met her she was at the point where her ideas about Christians was that they were basically losers who needed some sort of crutch in their lives. She had no depth of soil.