Parable of the Sower (Matthew #62)

Text: Matthew 13:18-23

The seed is the word of God. The ground is the heart. And fruit is the only thing that matters.

Wayside heart

  • The seed just falls out of the way. It doesn’t even make it into the dirt. It falls on the cobblestone, or concrete, or sidewalk and there really is no chance for this seed to do anything.
  • The trouble is the word of God was never understood, but the implication is that it was supposed to be understood. So the lack of understanding was the fault of those who heard, but did nothing with it.
  • According to the Lord there is one basic reason people don’t have understanding. In Romans 1:21-24, 31 the lack of understanding comes from a reprobate mind that does not like to retain God in their knowledge.
    • Now here’s what happens when people don’t like to retain God in their knowledge. Look at Romans 1:24, 26, and 28. What is God doing in response? God gave them up…
    • Now go back to Matthew 13:19. So all the areas where the seed is scattered start to disappear.
    • Here’s how that looks in your life. There are areas, times, places, where the word of God has been placed by God. Church is an easy one because God calls pastors for the express purpose of scattering seed. You find that area disappearing from your schedule. You find that as you fail to apply the words of God, it disappears from your life.
  • Pawn Stars guy looking at a Bible supposedly signed by Mickey Mantle. He said the Bible wasn’t worth much to him, but if it had Mickey Mantle’s signature on it that would make it worth something.

Stony places

  • Notice the word is received, but not into good ground only into stony places.
  • Trouble caused it to become fruitless because the seed wasn’t rooted. Look at Ephesians 3:14-19.
  • John 12:42-43 these men recognize the truth, but they’re careful not to let the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ cost them anything. They are careful not to let sound doctrine get in the way of their reputation in society. They continue to cave to their anti-gospel environment.
    • These are the businessmen who feel their reputation is more important than Jesus Christ.
    • These are religious leaders who feel their religious reputation would be at stake if they applied what they believe about the Lord.
    • These are politicians who will take a knee for the crowd no matter how absurd and contrary to God’s law the ideas become.
  • Ultimately, this group is afraid to oppose the cultural standard of righteousness. Notice that these rulers wanted to keep the Pharisees happy in John 12:42-43. They don’t want to upset the politically correct.
  • The outside pressure caused them to forsake the power of God and the result is no fruit.

Thorny ground

  • Notice the word is received, but not into good ground rather into thorny places.
  • The ground has limited resources just like your heart has limited resources. In this case there is just too much competition for the limited resources available in the ground. Because the fruit bearing seed wasn’t prioritized, there is no fruit produced.
  • Care of this world can feel overwhelming when you have people you’re responsible for.  Look at 1 Corinthians 7:33-34; careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife… careth for the things that are of the world, how she may please her husband. Now look at the context starting in 1 Corinthians 7:27-35 …that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. Paul just perfectly described the limited resources of your heart. And if you’re looking for a spouse they better be actively serving the Lord. Otherwise the limited resources of your heart will not be able to withstand the competition of trying to please a spouse and serve the Lord at the same time. What you’ll find is exactly what Jesus Christ said, the seed and the thorns competing for the same piece of ground will cause the seed to be fruitless.
  • Deceitfulness of riches will also rob you of resources that could be devoted to the Lord.
    • Look at 1 Timothy 6:7-10. Some who was willing to destroy their own lives and their family’s lives for the sake of a little pay raise.
    • Now here’s a question. Do you know what the context of 1 Timothy 6 is in relation to someone chasing the dollar bill? It’s an employee who didn’t think he was paid enough so he complained about it. Then fights for a little pay raise at the expense of everything that is important to him. And by the way that pay raise won’t be enough to him after a month anyway. Look back at 1 Timothy 6:1 and see the context.
    • The riches are deceitful because they won’t be enough in a month or two anyway.
    • John the Baptist taught this exact thing as fruits of repentance. Look at Luke 3:7-9, 10, 14; …be content with your wages.

Good ground

  • The soil is well prepared when the seed is planted and fulfills its purpose.
  • What is the fruit? Look back at Matthew 12:28. Then the Lord talks about the fruit in 12:33. Then Galatians 5:22-23 clearly defines the fruit of the Spirit that comes with the Kingdom of God.
  • Gospels of Mark and Luke call this a parable of the Kingdom of God
  • What made the ground good? There were no excuses made where the seed was planted. The heart was honest because he didn’t make excuses about how the cares of the world just made it too tough to be faithful. The heart was good ground because it sought the praise of God and not of men. The word of God, the seed, had found a place it can work and grow.
  • Hebrews 6:1-8 is the warning the Lord Jesus Christ is giving as a parable. Israel’s time of harvest has come. The first resurrection is about to happen with the Lord Jesus Christ and many OT saints.