Which Kind of Soil
Rev, Sudha Mehta©
Matthew 13: 3 And He told them many things in parables, saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the seedlings.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil and produced a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.
9 He who has ears, let him hear.”(BSB)
Today in my final post in this series and I will tell you about this parable.
My daddy was a great storyteller. He had a way of using everything in our lives for an object lesson. We learned some wonderful, deep life lessons from everyday events. There was always a story that made the point and taught us to think critically. When I grew up and had a family of my own, I missed those times, but I remembered those lessons. I taught my children many of the same lessons using everyday events in our lives, just as daddy taught me.
So when I saw that Jesus used parables/word pictures often when He spoke to the people, it was very comforting to me and I had no problem following His lessons. The scenarios He drew were from everyday life of the population He was living among. Word pictures with sheep, shepherds, seeds, farmers, plows, sowers, water, bread, fish, fisherman were commonly used in His conversation with the crowd.
Here in Matthew 13 is the story of a farmer, a sower, who went to sow in his field. after telling this story, Jesus explains it to his disciples a few verses down:
sower-seed parable photo by freebibleimages
Matthew 13: 18 Consider, then, the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the message of the kingdom but does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and promptly receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he remains for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The seed sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 But the seed sown on good soil is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and produces a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.”(BSB)
It is made clear in Luke 8: 11 that the seed is the Word of God which is the same as the message of the kingdom.
The field is the World or any portion of the World. The sower is the person bringing the Word. One person cannot bring the Word to all the World’s people so there are many sowers, just as there are many harvesters. If each sower does his/her part then the Word goes out effectively in the World. It is a team called out by Him.
It is His desire that ALL that know Him be sowers and He decides which field they are to sow in. Apostles, pastors, evangelists, missionaries are all sowers, and yes teachers as well. Yet here is more. Everyone that knows Christ is called to share the message in whatever circle they are, that is why the following is called The Great Commission:
Matthew 28: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(BSB)
This command was initially give to the eleven, but it is meant for all. As they taught and trained disciples, they passed the mantle to them, then it was passed to more and more, and so the Word spread. The goal was to reach all Nations, share the Good News of Salvation and to make disciples.
Two thousand years later, the sowing, watering, and reaping continues. Their is always a generation that needs to hear. Generations have come and gone, and each generation brings with it a new challenge, an expanded goal. The population of the World is now more than seven billion, there are yet so many that have never heard of Jesus, and if they have, they have not been given a full and correct message and understanding. So many make their impressions of Christ based on some faulty opinions/ news or stories, without knowing the truth of who He is. The work of the sower goes on . . .
Right now as you are reading this post, the sower is me, the field is you! Well, actually the field is . . . your heart!!
I want you to note in the parable, the seed did not change. The soil did. Four kinds of soil is described in this story. One field, same seed, no discrimination, but four different results because of four different types of soil.
sower-seed parable 1 photo by freebibleimages
The first soil described is actually not good soil at all. The seed is cast, but sadly it falls on the wayside, and the only thing it is good for is being bird-food. In this case the birds are agents of the enemy of our souls. They, the demons, come and snatch away the seed as soon as it is cast in the heart for there is no depth of soil for any seed to take root at all. You might say, “In one ear and out the other . . . .”
sower-seed parable 2 photo by freebibleimages
Then the next spread of the seed falls in rocky soil. You know as well as I that the soil that has not been cleared of rocks will not produce a good crop. It is limited right from the start. So, this is how Jesus describes it: the person receiving the seed (Word of God), gets excited immediately, for it is good news of salvation; but soon after this his interest dries up due to trials or persecution for there is little depth for the Word to grow. The rocks, (trials and circumstances) dishearten and cause him to fail.
sower-seed parable 3 photo by freebibleimages
Perhaps you know some one like this. I have seen many fall away like withered tiny plants in my lifetime.
sower-seed parable 4 photo by freebibleimages
The third kind of soil is not much better. In this case, though the seed does take root, yet trials arise and temptations come. The good plant, although rooted, finds no way to thrive and blossom and produce that which it was destined to. Note that Jesus adds “deceitfulness of wealth” in this. Jesus said, You cannot serve God and Mammon (the riches of this World) . . . you will serve one or the other (Matthew 6:24). Pick your Master!
As a counselor I have seen this kind very often. I do believe them to be genuine, but sadly, they never rise to be victorious in their walk for they get overtaken by their circumstances. Rather than rising above with God’s help, they choose to capitulate.
I believe the following wholeheartedly:
1 Corinthians 10: 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.(BSB)
I have lived it, walked it and continue on with confidence for He has never left me without His grace to bear AND to be victorious over my circumstance.
sower-seed parable photo 5 by freebibleimages
Finally, the fourth kind of soil is where the seed finds a good and fertile home. A heart that is desirous of producing robust growth and providing a return to the sower of thirty, sixty and even a hundred fold!
sower-seed parable photo 6 by freebibleimages
Think about this: If a sower has a field and the seed to sow in it but at the end of the season he finds little growth, he may get quite discouraged, but if the land in which the seed is sown produces much crop, it is a blessing not just to the sower, but to the many that end up being nourished by it. The plants that grow also provide seed for the next crop.
I have so many thoughts on this parable, on the sower, seed and soil that relate to life for all of us; but one post is not sufficient to contain it all, so for now I simply ask: Which soil does your heart carry?
Do you have room in your heart to welcome the seed at all? Is your heart as the rock hard soil of the roadside, good only for making the seed available as food for birds?
Is your heart the rocky soil? If it is, you can ask Him to help clear those obstacles that keep the Word from taking root. What trials are too strong for you to resist? What fears make you terrified so you would not allow the seed to grow? What strongholds are in your life that keep you from retaining the seed in your heart? If you ask God for help, He gives it! Perhaps you do not even know what strongholds are in the way. Ask Him to reveal these.
If you identify with the third kind of soil, you must ask for grace to stand. The challenges of life, temptations, lure of riches should not keep you from growing.
Are you the fourth kind of soil? I think most of those that would say “Yes” to this would also say they have grown through trials of various kinds. I know I have.
My desire is to produce the crop He desires. So, I share! He asked me to help seed the World through this blog, I am!! Only heaven will know the result, and that is good. If you like this blog, share it . . . every time you share it, you help seed and become a partaker in the harvest! I think that is great!!
Leave a comment if you wish, make it kind! 😊
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