The parable of the sower and the seed is a popular one that Jesus told. There are different types of conditions that the seed landed in and each one represents a type of person who responds to God’s Word.
Matthew 13:3-8 (NIV) 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Good soil produced the crops.
Later on in the chapter Jesus explains the parable.
Matthew 13:18-23 (NIV) 18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
If the crop is produced by good soil, what produces good soil?
Good soil is produced by being the one who UNDERSTANDS the Word.
But, how do we understand it?
In verse 19 the crop never produced because the one who heard the word “does not understand”.
How can one understand it and the other not?
Does God leave us to our own ability to grasp the meaning of His Word?
If we do, great, we produce. If not, sorry about your luck.
The word UNDERSTAND in verse 23 and 19 is the same word, but it is necessary to dig a little deeper at what this word actually means.
This word, understand, in the original language comes from a root word that actually means to become a companion with, to resemble.
συνίημι syníēmi, soon-ee’-ay-mee; from G4862 and ἵημι híēmi (to send); to put together, i.e. (mentally) to comprehend; by implication, to act piously:—consider, understand, be wise.
*G4862 σύν sýn, soon; a primary preposition denoting union; with or together (but much closer than G3326 or G3844), i.e. by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition, etc.:—beside, with. In composition it has similar applications, including completeness.
So, the one who understands the word and produces is the one who agrees with and who allows the Word of God to become their companion.
This same parable is told in other passages of scripture.
Mark 4:20 (NIV) 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
The writer in Mark uses the word accept which has a similar meaning to the word understand but it’s slightly different. The word accept in this passage means to take near.
παραδέχομαι paradéchomai, par-ad-ekh’-om-ahee; from G3844 and G1209; to accept near, i.e. admit or (by implication) delight in:—receive.
Quick Thought: What do you keep closer than anything else… more than the desire – the prayer – the dream – the hope? Is it the Word?
In Luke the word used is retain.
Luke 8::15 (NIV) 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
The word retain means to hold onto.
κατέχω katéchō, kat-ekh’-o; from G2596 and G2192; to hold down (fast), in various applications (literally or figuratively):—have, hold (fast), keep (in memory), let, ×make toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold.
In conclusion, being good soil is not left to our own understanding but to our willingness to AGREE WITH, BRING CLOSE, and NEVER LET GO of God’s Word.
Who is the one who begins to be fruitful in their life? The one who in all conditions chooses to be in agreement with God in word in action.
I believe that every place that the seed landed had potential to be good ground…
The common factor in the unfruitful ground is that each type of person represented never entered into full agreement with God.
How do you avoid stepping out of agreement with God?
Remaining good soil depends on the talk that we allow to go on at our table.
Psalm 23 (NIV) 1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the the Lord forever.
First, what is God’s provision at this table? His Word and His Works… Both of which He has already declared.
Also, you must note that God has prepared a table IN the presence of your enemies.
The enemy will always be close enough to see what’s been prepared for you at your table… BUT, you don’t have to let him sit at it or have what’s been prepared for you.
The Table Is Always Prepared But So Is The Enemy…
If we are not careful… the enemy will pull up a chair at the table that’s been prepared for us.
Before we know it he begins to eat our food… what’s been prepared for us!
HOW CAN YOU KNOW IF THE ENEMY IS AT YOUR TABLE?
IF YOU’RE HEARING ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING THREE TYPES OF STATEMENTS…
1. YOU CAN NEVER BE SURE OF GOD’S WORD
Matthew 13:19 (NIV) 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
Do you remember what the word Understand in this passage actually means? To agree with, to become a companion of, to resemble
Another way to read this passage could be, ”
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not agree with, become a companion of, or resemble it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
If you are hearing statements like the ones below, the enemy has pulled a chair up at your table.
You can be sure you’re not going to make it…
You can be sure you’re never be free…
You can be sure it’s never going to change…
You can be sure it’s not worth it…
You can be sure you’re not good enough…
You can be sure everyone is against you…
2. YOU CAN NEVER BE SATISFIED BY GOD’S WORD
Matthew 13:20-21 (NIV) The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
These verses are referring to they type of person who find relief from certain aspects of the Word but are not respondent to the Word.
If you’re hearing things like:
There’s no need to change…
Things are fine the way they are…
God doesn’t mind…
No one will ever know…
You can put a stop to it later…
It is comforting to hear that God loves us… it is uncomfortable to change because of it.
It’s one thing to be pleased by the Word, it’s another to profit from it.
The true mark of receiving the Word is being ruled by it.
When trouble or persecution comes b/c of the word… The word will call us to change. Pride will call us to walk away.
3. YOU CAN NEVER BE SECURE IN GOD’S WORD
Matthew 13:22 (NIV) 22The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
When you begin to believe the following types of thoughts, the enemy has been talking at your table.
You know what always happen…
It never lasts…
Something’s going to go wrong…
It will only last for so long…
Nothing ever goes right for you…
God doesn’t see you…
God has forgotten you…
Realize, the seed will always be sown and the enemy does not work to prevent the seed from being sown…
The enemy fights to prevent the seed from bearing fruit…. He wants to destroy the ground in which the seed lands…
I pray that God opens our eyes and hearts to see the places where we have allowed the wrong type of talk to go on at the table that has been prepared for you and I.
I have a challenge for you:
Find a scripture that pertains to your situation and agree with, bring it close, and hold onto it closer than any other word in your life.