Friday, July 13, 2018

The Parable of the Sower

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

The parable of the sower might better be called the parable of the soils. In the story, a sower throws seed indiscriminately on four different kinds of soil. The four soils respond to the seed in four different ways. Jesus tells us that the seed is the Word of God, while the soils represent different kinds of people.

In the first case, the message falls on a path, never gets plowed under, and is eaten by the birds. How often the Word of God bounces off of people in just this fashion. They hear it on the radio or happen to visit a church, but they are completely bored and uninterested in it.

In the second case, the message falls on rocky soil. This is soil that has a hard layer of bedrock just under the surface. The roots cannot sink deep and thus find no moisture. Just so, there are people who are initially excited by the Gospel. They join the church, buy a Bible, and tell everyone they’ve become a Christian—and then after a while, they drop out. Such people have only had an emotional experience, and never really became Christians.

In the third case, the message falls among thorns and weeds. As the plant grows, it flourishes briefly, but eventually is “choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature” (v. 14). These people drift away from the church, sink into a worldly lifestyle, and are lost. Only those who persevere to the end are saved.

Then, Jesus describes the fourth kind of soil. “It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown,” and it “stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop” (vv. 8, 15). These people have a deep interest in God’s Word and seek to put it into practice. Their lives are really changed and bear fruit by patient persevering. They don’t expect sudden miracles and changes, but by diligent obedience, produce a great crop.

Jesus wants fruit from His people—fruit that grows from a heart committed to Him. Fruit comes from patient feeding on God’s Word and obedience. You should see fruit in your life today, no matter how young a believer you are. Obviously the older in Christ, the more fruit you should bear. Evaluate your fruitfulness in the light of this parable.