Summary: We need to prepare our hearts to recieve the Word of God.
Here is a list of Jesus’ criticisms about religious leadership in his day: They did not practice what they taught (hypocrisy). They put heavy burdens on others but not themselves (legalism). They sought and loved public recognition (pride). Status, respect and titles were important to them (arrogance). They locked people out of the kingdom (judgmental). They established laws to benefit themselves (greed). They neglected to emphasize justice and mercy (bias). They were accomplices to silencing the prophets (oppressive). George Johnson, Critical Decisions in Following Jesus, C.S.S. Publishing Company.
THE SOWER, THE SEED AND THE SOIL
The Sower represents the Son of God, the seed represents the Word of God and the soil is the human heart. The action was that he went forth to sow the seed. He did not go to criticize or make people feel miserable. The sower wanted to get the seed out to the soil without verdict or opinion or judgment. The soils are four are ways we can treat the word of God. I believe that the type of soil we are can change if we make the right choice. At the end you will see how we can be changed.
1. The first soil we see is the footpath or Wayside or this could be the one who is unmoved at the Word of God.
a. It is a hard surface. The one who has let people or things or situations make his heart hard that he does not want to let the Word enter his heart at all. He could be one who never attends church or one who attends church much of his life. He hears the word but fails to believe it is the truth for him to follow. I would pray that none of us would have this kind of heart but there can people who have come to church many times and the Word preached does not affect them. It has been said that the heart that is set on the pleasures of sin will be hardened to the Word of God.
b. This also is a dangerous surface. We read that it is exposed to the birds of the air and to the stomping of the feet passing by. No matter how amazing is the seed this is a heart that will not let it come in. The Word is heard but the devil is allowed to come and steal it away and prevent the person from believing and being saved. The devil does not want us to hear the word of God and if we do hear it he does not want us to believe it.
c. This is a hopeless Place. The word of God cannot find a place to stay and grow. It is on this path for a time but it does not enter and life is never given. It still is the Word of God but the one who hears it does not profit from it. He does not understand the power in the Word of God and the devil steals any chance of hope. The rich young ruler turned away. Judas went out and it was night. “Almost you persuade me to believe” said one.
II. The second soil is called the stony ground or an emotionally touched person.
a. The Word is cheerfully, joyfully, gladly received. The seed finds a hole to dwell in for awhile but it does not go down deep enough to get a root system. This speaks of a person who is emotionally touched and when the feeling goes away so does the faith that could have been. He hears the word of God with great joy. How do you receive the Word of God?