Matthew 13 English Standard Version (ESV) The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.9 He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
If you and I were to glance back on our life and look for that peace that can only come from Christ, would our lives bear the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (and self-control)? That is not to say that we would not have trial and tribulation because for those of us who profess Jesus Christ as Savior then we know that those who love and truly follow him will face trials and tribulations of many kinds. I am not talking about this, rather, I am talking about that peace that should be evident in our life.
I want to focus on where I lives are currently at (where they have landed at this particular time in our life). I want to focus on the path that Jesus is talking about and ask ourselves these questions when we take a deep look at examining ourselves. Are we bearing the fruit of the Spirit? Are we in community? Are we serving Jesus Christ (we are true followers and not just fans)? Are we teachable? Are we humble? Do we exude spiritual maturity? If not, why not?
Have our lives:
- Fell along the path: We hear the words (the Bible, the teaching and preaching of the Bible) and we do not understand it?
- Fell along rocky ground: We hear the words, but have no root in the Word, in community and fellowship, a prayer life? And when trials and tribulations and persecution came along we immediately fall away from God?
- Fell among thorns: We hear the words, but our focus is not on Jesus Christ and His Church, rather, it is on the ways of this world (living for our own desire and pleasures instead of God's will for our life). This, too, proves an unfaithful servant.
- Fell on good soil: These are the true disciples of Jesus Christ. They hear the word and understand the word and apply that to their entire life and way of thinking. When they hear the word and fall on good soil (God's word and His wisdom and understanding they are truly following His will in all their life). These are individuals that you see that do face trials and do face tribulations and they are genuine. There is something different about them. Look around in the church, in your communities and in your work place - they are there! Are you one of them?
When the Judgement of the Lord comes, and it will come, I do not want to be looking back at my life and saying I could/should have done it different. I don't want to be saying why did I make all those other things in my life a priority instead of what God prioritizes for me in His Word. I do not want to be second guessing myself at his Judgement Seat. Instead I want to hear the words, "well done good and faithful servant".
I do not want to live the life of a fake or follower. I want my life to bear his fruit daily. I want my life to be that life of a disciple. Does this mean that I will always have it right? By no means. However, with daily prayer, reading of the word, accountability and honesty along with repentance, I can move toward becoming the new creation that Jesus Christ gave me versus always falling back to that old self (our old sin nature).
Do you not know that those of us that confess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and follow his ways have been bought with a price? A price that we could never pay nor endure?
As for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord.