the same day Jesus went out of the
house, and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered
together to Him, so that He got into a boat, and sat; and the
whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to
them in parables, saying, 'Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And
as he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the birds came
and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did
not have much earth: and they immediately sprang up, because they had no
depth of earth:"
The Kingdom Mysteries
Before we can properly understand any of the
Kingdom parables in Matthew 13 we must grasp the truth that Jesus
was speaking in mystery language. Jesus explained this truth to His
disciples in verses 10 through 15, but their conversations right on
through His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection revealed they
didnít "get it". Down through the church age there have also been
countless millions who "didnít get it!"
The mystery of the kingdom is that there is a
period of time between the first and second coming of Christ in
which God gathers out of all peoples of the world the citizens for
the kingdom over which Christ will reign: "Simon (Simon
Peter) has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles,
to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the
words of the prophets agree..." Acts 15:14, 15a. "...Which in other ages was
not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by
the Spirit to His
holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should
be fellow heirs, of the same body and partakers of His promise
in Christ by the gospel" -Eph 3:5-6.
It is when we begin to grasp this truth that we
begin to see that all the parables of the kingdoms are understood in
light of the church age in which we live.
Behold, A Sower Went Forth To Sow
That sower is Jesus Christ Himself. "...He
that sows the good seed is the Son of man," Matthew 13:37. How can
Jesus be the sower during the church age since He has gone back
to Heaven? All true believers compose the spiritual body of Christ.
We have already seen that in Ephesians 3:6. We can also see it in
Romans 12:4,5 and 1st Corinthians 12. We are informed in 1st C all true believers make
up His body. When any believer sows the gospel seed of the sacrifice
of Christ for our sins it is in a larger sense Christ Himself sowing
that gospel seed. As believers in one church send missionaries to
sow the gospel seed in places they cannot go it is members of the
body of Christ enabling other members of the body of Christ to sow
that gospel seed.
It is stimulating to look at the Great Commission
from this aspect. Jesus said, "...All authority has been given to
heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach (disciple)
all nations..." (Matthew 28:18). Jesus is telling us that all authority power in
heaven and in earth is ours as we go forth to disciple all nations.
This is true because we are a member of His body and He is sowing
the gospel seed through us. The word "sower" in these parables is in
the singular. The word "reapers" is in the plural. As members of His
body we have the privilege of having a part of reaping souls into
the kingdom of God.
Field Is The World
and wide does Christ sow the gospel seed? Throughout the whole
world. The great loving heart of Christ embraces all the peoples of
the world and He will save any soul from condemnation who will
receive Him by faith as their Savior.
Seed Is The Word Of God
"The sower sows the word."
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God."
"...Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible,
through the word of God, which lives and abides forever."
.1st Peter 1:23.
The Four Responses To The Gospel Seed.
Jesus uses four different kinds of soil to
represent the four different kinds of hearts upon which the gospel
seed is sown.
The Hard Heart
On the edge of each field was a footpath upon
which men and animals walked. Overtime this soil became very hard.
Seed could fall on it but not IN it. This pictures hearts made hard
as a result of being trampled upon by the affairs of life. Most of
us have known people whose hearts became hard as a result of their
experiences in marriage, business, and social areas.
Jesus emphasized that this is a dangerous
condition. Just as fowls of the air quickly detect any seed lying on
hard ground so they can snatch it up, even so Satan and his evil
spirits detect the gospel seed lying on hard hearts so they can
"catch it away."
The Stony Ground Hearer
There are places where the soil is shallow
because a strata of rock lies just beneath a thin layer of soul.
This soil may be loose enough and following a rain it may retain
moisture. Seed that falls on this soul may quickly germinate and
sprout, but the hot sun causes it to quickly wither away. Likewise,
there are shallow hearts that joyfully receive the gospel seed and
quickly make a profession of faith in Christ. Alas, there is no root
to sustain life, growth, and fruit. The heat of persecution, which
always follows a profession of faith in Christ causes the outward
profession to wither away. These hearts brings sadness and even
discouragement to reapers.
The Thorny Ground Hearer
Here is soil that is rich and deep. It is loose
and not hard. It has every potential of being fruitful. But the soil
is contaminated with the seed of thorns. The thorns spring up and
choke back fruitfulness.
I believe this represents a person who truly gets
saved and then "becomes unfruitful". The care of the world, and the
deceitfulness of riches choke off spiritual fruit. In our American
economy this is an ever present danger and every true believer needs
to resist these thorns constantly.
The Good Ground Hearer
The soil is deep and rich. It has been carefully
prepared. It is loose and thorns are duly cultivated away. It is
fertilized and ready to sprout the seed and nourish it to
There are hearts that have been made tender by
experiences of life and by hearing and meditating on the word of
God. The seed falls into the heart and springs into life. The roots
go deep and abundant nourishment flows. The hot sun of persecution
my slow the growth in some cases, but it cannot wither it away.
The Holy Spirit flows unhindered through this
heart and the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance robustly grow. Much gospel
seed is also produced from the fruit of the Spirit and the good
ground hearer takes his or her place in being a channel for Jesus to
sow the seed through them.
Hopefully, all of us would like to be good ground
hearers. Let us learn from Jesus that we must have good hearts that
are prepared and free of thorns. Let us also seek Godís face to give
us that kind of heart.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.