In The Word
Read: Matthew 13:1-23
Jesus Teaches in Parables
13 On that day Jesus had gone out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
3 And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and they sprang up immediately, because they had no depth of soil.6 But after the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 But others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times as much. 9 The one who has ears, let him hear.”
An Explanation for Parables
10 And the disciples came up and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”11 And Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You shall keep on listening, but shall not understand;
And you shall keep on looking, but shall not perceive;
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their heart, and return,
And I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Sower Explained
18 “Listen then to the parable of the sower.19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one sown with seed beside the road. 20 The one sown with seed on the rocky places, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 And the one sown with seed among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, and the anxiety of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 But the one sown with seed on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times as much.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
This is a very important parable to understand. As we spread God’s Word to others, we can see why there are different effects from our efforts. God’s desire is that everyone would come to the knowledge of the truth. However, many do not because they refuse to really listen to what God is trying to tell them. Some, when they look at their lives through the Word, don’t like what they see; instead of changing, they just close their eyes to the defects. I have found that many hearts are very dull and hard to plant in.
Another key aspect of this parable is that the people receiving the Word of God must understand it, not just have it. Too many times we convince people to do what we say, without the people actually understanding what they are doing. When people do not fully understand the commitment they are making, you will find that they don’t stay committed for the long haul. The enemy either lies or confuses them; many times, they have not counted the cost. Sometimes, when the walk with Christ begins to cause them to let go of things or get rejected, they walk away instead of continuing the journey with Christ. For some, they listen to what is being said and follow the teachings of Christ. But when blessings fill their lives because of the good principles they are living by, instead of being able to handle the increase, the increase destroys them. Others receive the Word, understand the commitment, are careful of the dangers, and produce much fruit to the glory of God.
Where did God’s seed land in your life? Can I tell you something? Only time will tell. In the meantime, seek to understand, see, and hear.