Summary: It's not rocket science, but really very clear. We have a task, and God uses our work and accomplishes what He wills with it.
Passage: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Intro: Not skipping over vv10-17, do them next week.
1. it is a digression, and very important, but want to do this parable so we understand it.
2. when we look at parables, we have to be very careful.
3. tendency to attach meaning to every detail of the story, very easy to spiritualize them.
4. with this one, we have Jesus’ explanation, so it can be very clear.
5. and making sure we stay with context, we can see exactly what Jesus was talking about, and apply it very practically to our lives.
6. there are three main elements of this parable, but one is the variable: the problem.
I. Seed Scatterers Scatter Seeds
1. vv1-2 show we are in the same time frame.
2. there has been resistance to Jesus’ message, conflict, and His own family was opposed to His message.
3. it was a popular message, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.
` 4. sat in a boat so He could talk without constant interruptions and requests.
5. now remember the context of conflict when He starts telling this particular story, one that they would be able to see in their minds.
PP seed scatterer
6. pretty straightforward and somewhat inefficient, but very non- judgmental
7. in this story, the seed falls without discrimination on productive and non- productive soil.
8. “along the path” that the sowers had beat into the ground.
9. on soil without depth,
10. on an area with a lot of competition for nutrition
11. there is some good soil, loamy and rich, into which the seed falls.
PP good soil
12. does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what happens to these various seeds.
13. but Jesus makes the spiritual connection in vv18-23
14. the seed scatterer is proclaiming a message. Very specifically, it is what Jesus was doing, and what His followers do.
15. they have a specific task, and that is to proclaim the truth of God, the message of salvation, which contains promise as well as warning.
16. in this context of resistance, it is clear that the message and messenger has its opponents.
17. but the problem is not the seed scatterer, unless He refuses to scatter, scatters the wrong seed, or scatters with discrimination against some soils.
18. Jesus proclaimed the truth, and we do as well. It is our job.
II. The Seed is God’s Good News
1. now maybe something is wrong with the seed itself?
2. perhaps we need to tweak the message, redesign the DNA of the seed to make it grow better, no matter the soil.
PP DNA of pepper seed.
3. but the seed is the “message of the kingdom”, v19
4. that means that the seed scatterer does not redesign the seed, because it is not his.
5. the message is committed to us, and it is great news that needs to be understood.
6. clearly some understand it and some don’t, and clearly there is competition opposed to the message.
7. but the seed is not the problem here.
8. the seed is life to be scattered among the dying.
9. clearly there is nothing wrong with the seed here. It has the potential to do exactly what it was designed to do in the proper environment.
Il) archaeologists found a seed in a pyramid in Egypt, 3000 yrs old. Planted it, and it grew!
PP Acorn, Oak tree!
10. the message is the inerrant word of God. It is life!
11. so what is the problem?
III. The Problematical Human Heart is the Soil.
1. there are four types of soil here, each one a picture of the human heart.
2. the hard earth in v19, not chance for germination, it just sits there.
3. “does not understand it”, word=to bring together”= to understand, comprehend.
4. does not see how the parts fit together.
Il) for some, the scariest words in the English language are “some assembly required.”
5. and when this happens, Satan is quick to convince the person that the whole thing is hogwash anyway.
6. another soil is shallow, full of rocks, just a little dirt. V20
Il) notice the tree closest to building. The soil was very poor, full of construction debris
7. there is an emotional response to the gospel, everything happens very fast!
8. “at once, “short time”, “quickly”
Il) we might refer to this as an impulse buy, without reading the fine print.
9. but when trouble shows up,. The persecution we were promised, this person heads for the hills.
10. word “falls away” is the word for…
PP mousetrap with cheese.
11. word means something that causes someone to fall away.
12. as quickly as he received the word he rejects it because he wanted the short term benefits all along, and when they disappear, so does he.