Parable of the Sower

One of the first teachings of Jesus that a Christian needs to get a revelation of is the "Parable of the Sower". Why? Jesus in referring to this parable stated in Mark 4:13 "Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" This is an amazing statement. Unless we understand this parable, we cannot understand any parable that Jesus spoke. If we are blind to the teachings of Jesus it is because we do not have a revelation of this most fundamental teaching.

This parable was sown in my heart by an apostle. The apostle's ministry was ordained by God to build a foundation upon which we can be established. And it cost me nothing! By using the Internet, I can now share this with others free of charge. In the second part of verse 8 in Matthew 10, Jesus commanded "freely ye have received, freely give".

This parable is so important to our walk as Christians that it is recounted in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. In Luke 8:5, Jesus says "A sower went to sow his seed...". In verse 11, he says "...the seed is the word of God." In Mark 4:14 he says "The sower soweth the word." The word Jesus is talking about in not just any word or every word of God, but the Gospel; the death, burial and resurrection,"...for it is the power of God unto salvation..." (Romans 1:16). The ground in this parable refers to the heart of man, and these scripture describe four kinds of hearts. See What is the Gospel?

The Wayside Heart

Matthew 13:19 "When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside".

Mark 4:15 "And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown: but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts".

Luke 8:12 "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved".

Notice that this heart hears the word of God, but Satan immediately steals it "...lest they should believe and be saved". A believer is a threat to Satan because a believer has a revelation that Satan was judged when Christ was raised from the dead.

The Stony Heart

Matthew 13:20-21 "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended".

Mark 4:16-17 "And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground: who when they have heard the word, and immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended".

Luke 8:13 "They on the rock are they which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away."

This heart receives the word and is filled with joy. However, when Satan comes with persecution and tribulation for the word's sake, this person pulls back and says "this is too hard", instead of pressing on through the temptation to not believe. Jesus warned us that we would have tribulation for the word's sake, but he also gave us a way to deal with the tribulation. Pray and believe that Satan was judged when Jesus was raised from the dead! In Ephesians 6:12 Paul states by the Spirit of God that "...we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." When we believe the Gospel, we can always be victorious in wrestling with wicked spirits and will not fall away when we get a little pressure.

The Thorny Heart

Matthew 13:22 "He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word: and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful".

Mark 4:18-19 "And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."

Luke 8:14 "And they which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection".

I believe (through simple observation) that these two hearts (Stony and Thorny) are where most of today's Christians are at in their walk with Jesus. They hear about the gospel and its benefits (i.e. forgiveness of sins) and are filled with joy and go forth and share how great God is. Satan comes with a little pressure, and they lose their salvation and shrink back. Or if they can overcome the temptations of the wicked one, their own wicked hearts choke the word.

Wicked heart? Not me, I am saved! Well, God doesn't agree with you. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 17, verse 9, God diagnoses our hearts. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it"? It is wicked, because it does not want to obey God, but rather gets caught up in pursuing pleasures and riches (the "good life") and is easily distracted by all the cares and concerns of the world. We are overcome by these cares because we do not believe that God, through the gospel, provided for us all that we need. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you". (Matthew 6:33)

The Good Heart

Matthew 13:23 "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty".

Mark 4:20 "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred".

Luke 8:15 "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

This heart hears, receives, understands and keeps the word and endures with patience to bear fruit. We are to walk as Jesus walked and do the works that Jesus worked, only then can we call ourselves Christians. The manifestations of this fruit of the Spirit are "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23).

In Colossians 1:5-6, Paul states "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of truth of the gospel: which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" Again, it is the gospel which brings forth fruit in our lives. If we receive and hold fast to the gospel; that Jesus died for our sins, that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day, it will bring forth this fruit. Jesus said in the first part of verse 8, in John 15; "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit...."

In summary, to give all glory to the Father, we must bear fruit and this comes by hearing, receiving, understanding and keeping the word of God, that is, the death, burial and ressurection of the Lord Jesus.

Amen!

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