“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Many of you may be familiar with the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. What a strange title considering that the parable speaks of the sower only at the beginning. If we hear what Jesus is saying through the story, we find that it is actually a parable about 4 different grounds that the seeds land on!
Later on in the passage (vs 18-23), Jesus explains that the different grounds refer to the different types of hearts that receive the word of the kingdom – that is, the gospel of salvation. The good soil is the heart who hears the gospel and understands it. This person bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty (vs 23). The amount of fruit doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is fruit! This is the only heart out of the four hearts that is said to understand the gospel. He lives out his faith and is growing day by day.
The first heart did not understand the gospel at all and what was sown was snatched away by the evil one, like how birds came to eat the seeds sown on the path. The second heart received the gospel with joy but did not fully understand it. Therefore, this person had no root and when trials and tribulations arose, he fell away – just like how the seed sown on rocky ground was scorched because of the shallow depth of soil. He did not realize that true faith required commitment and he was not willing to pay the price to follow Christ.
The third heart also did not fully understand the gospel. This person allowed the cares of the world and material wealth to be a distraction in his journey to seek God. This was compared to the seed that fell among thorns and was choked by them. He did not have a true repentant heart and make a break with old loves such as money and worldly desires.
Which of the 4 hearts describe your heart the most?
Have we fully understood the gospel, counted the cost and boldly decided to live out our faith in obedience? If so, who can we tell this story to in the week to come and perhaps invite this person to look at the gospels together with you?
If we have yet to truly understand the gospel, what can we do this week to continue seeking God? Perhaps we could talk to someone from the church, or read a gospel in the Bible prayerfully.
May God enable us to grow closer to Him each day!
Sister Cherlyn Oh