The Parable Of The Sower

Photo by Beth J on Unsplash

Matthew 13:1-3 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 …

As we learned at Jesus’ feet in Red Letters #32, those who are Christ’s “mother and brothers”, His Family, are those who are born into the Kingdom of God. This is a supernatural event that occurs when one receives Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. Jesus has just finished teaching that those who willingly and lovingly follow Him are of His Family.

What Limits The Growth Of The Gospel Seed?

1. The Gospel Seed Must Be Spread To All,
Regardless As To Who Or What They Are

Is it because Jesus only presented Himself to a select few, an “elect” or chosen? In our text we can see this is not true. Jesus did not limit where His message went. We read:

great multitudes were gathered together unto him

There were so many people following Jesus at this point that He could not speak without being mobbed. Now, all of these people were not believers. Many were curiosity seekers. Many came to see if Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Messiah. Others came to be healed of Jesus. They wanted a temporary blessing, a sickness or disease removed, a life made physically whole. Others came to Jesus to watch Him, much like buzzards watch carrion, waiting to jump on Him to disprove His ministry.

Jesus never limited those who received Him. When you are studying the Gospels, it is helpful to study parallel accounts of the same message, as each writer gives a different perspective. In Luke chapter 8, our parallel to Matthew 13, the blessed physician Luke is more detailed about those who were following Jesus. We read:

Luke 8:1-4 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, 2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. 4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city …

Jesus limited no one.
He spread the same Gospel seed on every ground.

We see that Jesus went throughout EVERY city and village. The cities are large, the villages small. Jesus visited everywhere, regardless as to their size, their economic outlook, or their race. Jesus preached the same message: preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. Who was with Jesus?

The twelve were with Jesus.

Though all twelve of Jesus first disciples were Jewish, they were from very different backgrounds. Some were common fishermen. One was a hated tax collector. There was a religious zealot, who sought the overthrow of Rome. Some of these men were unmarried, and others, like Peter, were married. James and John were brothers. Judas was greedy, and Thomas doubtful. It was a diverse group of men.

Then there were the women. We are told certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene were following Jesus. Mary was probably a social outcast because of her demonic affliction now past. Then we read of Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. Mary was Jewish, but Joanna was a wealthy and powerful Roman woman. Her husband was Herod’s business manager. We know nothing of Susanna other than she was generous with helping Jesus – so I suspect she was wealthy according to the standard of that day.

What Limits The Growth Of The Gospel Seed?

2. The Holy Spirit Must Work The Ground
Where The Seed Is Cast

I heard a preacher once say that “Jesus spoke in parables to make things more understandable”. That is not Biblical. We read:

Matthew 13:10-16 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of {Isaiah}, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

This is a very clear text to understand, if you understood the Kingdom Principles (Red Letters #32) that Jesus previously taught in Matthew 12. Jesus said that He spoke in parables:

Because it is given unto YOU to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to THEM it is not given.

Who is the YOU that can understand the parables?

It is those who are born again into the Kingdom of God.
It is those who have intimate access to Jesus, His followers.
It is those where the Spirit has worked and is working.

The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible states that the parables of Jesus were both works of art as well as weapons of warfare . A person can only understand Biblical Truth if God opens our eyes to it.

Those who are lost and apart from Christ cannot understand Biblical truths. They have hardened their hearts to Christ. Their understanding is darkened by sin and spiritual death. God has clearly presented Himself in nature, and man created a Darwinistic Fantasy to avoid glory to God. The Scripture says …

Romans 1:21 … when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God has revealed Himself in nature’s design, and yet, rejecting the proof of God all around, they invent alternate truths and realities which are no more than fairy tales. God must open the eyes of the lost to their lostness. People love sin, and want to stay in darkness. Jesus told Nicodemus in

John 3:16-21 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.

People love sin and want to stay in the darkness. They do not want Christ. God must open the heart to the truth that a soul without Jesus is both dead and damned. God must intervene, He must convict us of our need of the Savior. Jesus said “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). It is the work of God the Spirit, the Comforter, to awaken a person to their need of Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus said:

John 16:7-11 … if I depart, I will send {the Holy Spirit} unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Unless the lost person’s eyes are opened, they cannot be saved. God must anoint them (1 John 2:20, 27). God must reveal Biblical truths to us (1 Corinthians 2:10). Jesus spoke in parables so that the SAVED could understand the deeper truths of Scripture. If you are saved, you are indwelt of God (Romans 8:9). If you are NOT saved, you need to REPENT and come to Jesus. If you refuse to repent and turn, you have no need of deeper truths … salvation must come first.

Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 … And {God} said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Salvation is not something you can “work your way into”. It is something you can only receive as a gift of Grace. Pastor Allan Descheneau put it best:

For those who want to know God better, who the Spirit is working in them, who are asking, seeking, knocking … they will receive and find and will have the door opened unto them. But those who don’t want to hear it, who love their own sin, their self, who feel justified in their actions, who don’t want to be lorded over by anyone else – the parables will only harden their hearts further.”

The lost do not need the deeper truths of the Kingdom. They first need Jesus, just as we all need Jesus.

The lost desperately need Jesus. And yet, in their blindness and ignorance, they consider the preaching of the Cross to be foolish, unnecessary, the words of superstitious and uninformed people. But to the Child of God, to those who are “Christ’s mother and brothers”, to us the Cross is the very power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).

What Limits The Growth Of The Gospel Seed?

3. The Genuine Gospel Seed Must Be Deliberately
But Without Prejudice Cast On All Grounds

Jesus spoke the parable of the Sower to explain why it is that so few come to Christ. Read with me:

Matthew 13:3-9 … 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 sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

When we look at Jesus’ parable of the Sower, you can tell that there is one seed sown onto four different grounds.

The sower does not change the seed, nor does he sow with prejudice. The sower is unconcerned about the conditions of the soil, the weather or the wind. The sower just sows. He sows the same seed.

This is where the Church in America has failed. We have varied the seed based on the audience. Jesus never varied His message. What was His message?

Matthew 4:17 REPENT, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Jesus told the prostitutes to REPENT. He told the alcoholic and drug addicted to REPENT. Jesus told the Church goers and the self righteous to REPENT. Jesus told the blind, the diseased, the infirm to REPENT. He expected and expects people who have REPENTED to stop being their own gods, and to dedicate themselves to the Messiah.

Matthew 9:13 … I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE

Matthew 11:20 .. Jesus began to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they REPENTED not

Jesus never varied the seed. The message wasn’t changed based on the audience. Jesus didn’t speak the Gospel one way to the rich, and another way to the poor. He didn’t diminish the need to REPENT and turn to Him, regardless as to the “lifestyle” of the persons. Jesus never told the Jews one thing, and the Gentiles another. He chastised the Pharisees, saying:

Matthew 21:32 For John {the Baptist} came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

The seed, that glorious Gospel seed, demands that a person REPENT, and turn surrendered to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, the King of His Kingdom.

It amazes me that people think they can live their lives ignoring Christ, being horrible Kingdom citizens, and believe that they will enter Heaven upon their deaths. Beloved, if you will not obey the King NOW, what makes you think that you will enter His Kingdom THEN? The Gospel we preach demands REPENTANCE toward God and OBEDIENT FOLLOWING of Christ. No person can save themselves. Jesus Christ saves us, but only when we lean surrendered into Him. My hope of salvation lies in giving up my own life, and in investing my life – worthless as it is – into Christ. If you are indeed a Christian then Christ is your Master and Savior.

Jesus is the Shepherd, and I the sheep
Jesus is the Vine, and I but a branch
Jesus is the Light, and I but a reflector
Jesus is King of Kings, and I but a son of the King

Salvation is only a reality when a person under conviction of sin cries out to Jesus. Both I and you were condemned to damnation, a just damnation, by a righteous God. To REPENT means to take myself off of the throne and to kneel at his Throne. My life belongs to Him. There is absolutely NO salvation to anyone who stands arrogantly and unsurrendered before the Cross of Calvary. If you are a Christian then heed the Word of God:

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Is Christ in you? Then know that:

1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

You are not to be a man pleaser, but a God pleaser. You are to live for Christ. You are to be like Jesus. If you are saved, Beloved, you are to be like Jesus. This radically impacts your life. The saved are to love even their enemies. Jesus said:

Luke 6:27-29 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

The life that grows out of the Gospel seed …

avoids drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18)
rejects the sins of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-26)
controls anger (Ephesians 4:26)
seeks to be God controlled (1 Peter 4:7)
turns away and cuts off sinful habits (Matthew 5:27-30)
humbles themselves before God (James 4:10)

For the Christian to say “I am a Christian” and yet to wallow in things that Christ would never do is but deception. The Bible reminds those born of the Gospel seed that:

Romans 6:20-22 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

When a person hearing the Gospel REPENTS, then God the Holy Spirit enters that soul. The life is changed. Whereas before you followed the world in sinfulness, now you follow Jesus, obeying Him for the glory of God.

Only YOU Limit The Growth Of The Gospel Seed

When the disciples are alone with Jesus, He explains His parable. He says:

Matthew 13:18-19 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.

When the good seed of the Gospel is sown by the wayside, this is the Gospel preached to those unenlightened by God. They “understandeth it not”. They hear the “word of Christ’s Kingdom” but do not understand it. The Apostle Paul wrote in …

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The devil and his demons are constantly blinding the lost to the Gospel. He cloaks their eyes. He uses methods and means to distract. I have preached the Gospel and seen a lone bee come into the room … and all eyes are on the bee, ears turned off. The seed hits the wayside. A hum, a telephone ringing, a baby crying or a child acting out as children will do. Satan will throw distractions in your direction, anything, to keep the Gospel from going forth.

Matthew 13:20-21 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.

Then there is the stony, and shallow soil. Many hear the Gospel and apparently receive it, yet their lives are hardened. This is the person who walks the aisle, takes the preacher’s hand, then leaves the Church and the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith is but skin deep. They do not practice the disciplines of the Child of Christ. They neither pray nor read God’s Word on a regular basis … after all, salvation is free, is it not? To them Jesus Christ is Savior but NOT Lord. Their make believe faith looks good until the trials come – and trials will come. Their faith has no deep roots. Like the pine tree, a strong wind can blow it over. These are like the number of “Christian Contemporary Music Artists” who – it seems like every year – decide to walk away from Christ.

Matthew 13:22 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.

The thorny ground person loves to ride the fence, never committing fully to Christ, nor even fully committing to the world. They love to stay in the middle, a “moderate”, a person who wants to be saved but who will not repent fully. They fill their lives with worldliness, not with Christ. They avoid anything that might be uncomfortable. I meet these people all the time. Christ calls us to stand for Him in the midst of a sinful and fallen world. If your lifestyle and your faith does not cause others to hate you, perhaps you are a fence rider. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:22 … ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

The Christian is to be friendly, but not friends with the world. The stepbrother of Christ wrote:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son” (John 3:16). But if you receive His Son, you will reject the sinful ways of the world. You will affirm that what God says is true, is indeed true. You cannot be half Christian and half worldling. You must choose.

Matthew 13:23 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 Christian is the person who hears and understands the Word of God. The Holy Spirit opens that person’s eyes to the Gospel. Being saved, that Gospel seed causes the believer to be fruitful for God. The amount of fruit varies, but each believer in Christ is to bring forth SOME fruit.

Are you saved, dear one? If you are, you will be bearing fruit, in some capacity, for Jesus. In the Church today too many people sit about waiting to be waited on. Beloved, if you are waiting to be waited on, you are not fruitful – and perhaps not saved. Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith or not. And if you are, begin sowing the Gospel seed. May God open our eyes and and our hearts to receive His Biblical truth.

Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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