Continue to ask that God do a work in your heart (soil); that you may have a heart of good soil that produces a harvest that brings glory to God the Father.
Who does not like a good story? A story that moves our emotions, a story that calls us to action, or a story that reveals motives.
I heard it said that a parable is a simple story with a profound meaning or relatable earthly story with a kingdom purpose. Did you know that the Bible in its entirety is telling a story? It is telling the story of “Jesus” and at the same time telling many stories within the story of Jesus. Would it change how you lived your life if you knew your story was a part of a larger story that someday would be shared with others?
I bet many of us could share that we came to know who Jesus is by someone sharing their story/testimony of how they personally know who Jesus is and can testify of the work He has done in their heart! Stories are powerful, but we would all admit that unless the hearer of the story chooses to listen to the telling of the story, one would not really know the story. Oh, one may be able to share some facts about the story, but never the complete meaning of the story. With that being said, let’s re-read Matthew 13:1-23 and let’s choose to listen and hear what Jesus is revealing to each of us from this parable. Do we really know who is the sower or farmer? What is the seed? What are the different types of soils?
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred,sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
What did you hear in the parable? Is there more than just farming going on? On Sunday, Michael DeFazio shared that upon hearing this story each of us will have to wrestle with the fact that “our response to Jesus reveals the condition of our heart.” What condition is the soil of your heart? If you understand that the farmer or sower is Jesus (Matthew 13:37) and the seed is God’s word, continue to ask that God do a work in your heart (soil); that you may have a heart of good soil that produces a harvest that brings glory to God the Father.