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The Sown Seed

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SIH STSTA ICONBedtime stories, Aesop’s fables, Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and other types of “moral stories” have been a part our childhood for many generations.  How many of us have not heard the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Jack and the Beanstalk”?  http://crunkish.com/top-ten-childrens-stories/

In spite of the good moral lessons presented in many of these stories, they lack spiritual truth and Godly authorship.   In the Word of God we find a series of lessons presented by Christ in the form of illustrative stories.  These lessons are called “parables”.

What is a parable?  The Greek word for “parable” means “to set alongside for comparison”.  This definition helps us to understand the unique Biblical aspect of the parables of Christ.  A Biblical parable is the comparison of the physical to the spiritual in an effort to reveal the spiritual.   A parable simply uses illustrations from this physical world to help reveal and explain a spiritual truth to whom it was intended.

For today’s blog entry, let’s look at one of the most well-known parables of Christ and the spiritual truth represented in it….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matt 13:1-9

1)  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4) And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matt 13:18-23 (KJV)

18) Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

THE STUDY:

In Matthew chapter 13, we find the parable of the Sower.  In verses 1-9 we find Christ’s presentation of the parable, in verses 18-23 we find the explanation of this parable.

The parable:

1)  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Jesus’ audience for this parable was the multitudes that were following Him.  This multitude were probably following Him for many differing reasons.  Some followed Him trying to personally see the miracles being performed; others hoped to have their physical needs supplied; and some were following out of curiosity.

3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

In this parable, we are told of a man who was sowing seed meant to produce mature seed bearing plants.

The rest of the parable centers on the four areas where the seed falls.  The Lord goes further and explains the effects each area has on the seed’s production.

4) And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Area #1 – The Way Side.   As the man sows, some of the feed fell “by the wayside” (the path upon which the sower walked).  The result, the seed is eaten by the birds.  There is no fruit produced.

5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Area #2 – The Stony Places.  Some of the sown seed falls in shallow earth.  The result is that the ground allows the seed to sprout but as the sun beats down upon the plant it withers due to lack of moisture due to an insufficient root system.  No fruit was produced.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Area #3 – The Thorny Places.  Other seed feel in among the thorns.  As the seeds began to grow, the thorns crowded them out and they died.  Again, no fruit was produced.

8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Area #4 – The Good Ground.  Here, the seed falls on “good ground”.  This allows the seeds to sprout, grow and mature as they were intended.  This is the only case in which fruit was produced from the seed that was sown.

9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Parables were not only meant to reveal truth to those who are blessed of God but also to hide the truth from those who would misuse it.  (Matt 13:10-16, Matt 7:6)  The Lord was inviting those of the multitude who was given understanding by God to learn and apply this parable to their lives.

The explanation:

18) Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

The Lord now beings to explain the spiritual truths contained within the parable.

19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

The sower represents a person who is taking God’s Word and proclaiming it to others.

The seed represents the Word of God that gives access to God’s Kingdom (salvation).

The fruit produced through the sowing of the seed is spiritual fruit that is produced by all who trust in Christ.

Area #1 – “The Way Side” – In this portion of the parable.  The wayside is a picture of the heart of a lost individual who does not meditate on but ignore or do not take seriously the message of salvation.  The birds represent Satan who keeps his attention off the message.  Satan placing in his thoughts things “more important” than the Word for the lost person.  Because of this, salvation is not received and the fruits of the spirit are not borne by the lost one.  (Luke 9:57-62)

20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Area #2 – The Stony Places.  Here, the word that is received by the lost person is a novelty and for awhile he applies it to his life producing an outward reformation of his actions, not a new life within.  After a while, the novelty wears off and the lost person returns to the same lifestyle that he had departed from.  (2 Pet 2:22)

22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Area #3 – The Thorny Places.  Here we see that when a lost person hears God’s Word, if he allows the desires of his flesh to rule his life, he will nto take heed to the Word but live according to his desires for wealth and the other things this world has to offer.  (Lk 18:18-23)

23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Area #4 – Here we find God’s Word being presented to the heart that has been prepared by God.  The Word is received, understood and acted upon.  This results in spiritual fruits being borne as the Word grows and prospers in the heart.  (John 15:1-8)

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

We need to thank the Lord for preparing our hearts to receive His Word. And then, out of appreciation for what He has done, we should take His Word to others, through our voice and life of displaying the fruits of the Spirit.

For those who have yet to be saved…

Why do some men hear the gospel message and yet do not trust in Christ as their Savior? In our study today, we have seen that:

  1. For some, the Word of God is ignored and not taken seriously.
  2. For others, it is a simply a novelty to be followed for awhile but no real commitment to the message of the Word is ever made.
  3. And for yet others, the true value of the Word is not perceived, therefore they choose to live their life in pursuit of worldly things they believe is of greater value.

The only person that benefited from the preaching of the Word was the person whose heart has been prepared by God to receive the Word, understand the Word, and commit to the Word and its author, Christ.  Following this commitment, the newly saved person begins to bear spiritual fruits.

You, too have this decision before you.  The message of God’s Word centers on His son, Jesus Christ, and the salvation we can receive through Him…

John 3:14-21 (KJV)

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Won’t you take this message seriously, turn form your sin and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross?

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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4 Comments

  1. Another thorough explanation Rob.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the natural person (the one without spiritual life) CANNOT understand the things of God and 1:18 tells us that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them.

    Praise God that the Word of God is powerful and when the Holy Spirit takes that Word and gives understanding to the hearer, the light dawns.

    How I praise God that He opened my spiritual understanding and gave me faith to believe. Now, as I obey the command to “Go” to reach others with the Gospel, I know that of myself, I can do nothing. It is only as I go in His Name and in His power, depending on Him, allowing Him to use me, that He will draw people to Himself.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela,

      Thank you, once agiannfor your kind comments. You are so right when you say that our sin blinded eyes could only be opened by the intervention of the HS. I, too, praise His name for showing me the truth when He opened my sin blinded eyes. To God be the glory.

  2. […] Article FROM https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/the-sown-seed/ Sponsor- Bible Island at BibleIslands.com is your home for Kids Bible Stories told through the […]

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