This morning (or afternoon) the Holy Spirit woke me up and gave me this word. In Matthew 13:3-23 Jesus tells His first parable recorded in the gospels. Jesus also explains the significance of this parable in verse 18-23. In this parable Jesus describes a farmer scattering seed over his land. The seed which is God’s word falls in different places which represents different types of people. Below I will highlight the four places the seed fell and the type of person it represents as the Holy Spirit leads me.
- In One Ear and Out The Other (The Conscious Unbeliever)
In verse 4 the seed first
“fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.”
In verses 18 and 19 Jesus explains verse 4 saying the seed that fell along the path and was eaten up by birds is when:
“people hear the message about the kingdom and do not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed sown along the path.”
There are many people who have decided to not believe in God and follow His commands. Since they have made a conscious decision to deny God, they have at least heard about God and His word. But the truth of His word does not affect them to want to live a better life; a life of freedom and righteousness through the grace of God. The enemy is aware of this, so any truth that is spoken to them goes in one ear and out the other. The enemy wants to keep them from experiencing the love and freedom of God’s salvation.
- Sunday Morning Christian
In verse 5 Jesus tells us about the seed that fell on:
“rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”
Then in verse 20 Jesus explains the meaning of this scripture saying:
“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to people who hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution come because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
This is a person who only lives for God once a week (whether purposefully or not). They go to church on Sunday, here a powerful word from the preacher. Jump and shout and praise God for that word. Then by Tuesday afternoon when their co-worker is getting on their nerves or they are having a bad day they are ready to cuss and fight forgetting everything they have learned in church. Why is this the case? Because they have religion and not a relationship. If they had a relationship with God then they would want to spend meaningful quality time with Him DAILY, so He could break their heart of the things that break His heart. God would be able to mold and shape and prune them and fill them with His presence, so when faced with adversary they would lean on Him and not their own understanding. They have no roots in Christ. They are shallow Christians.
- The Prideful Christian
In verse 7 Jesus tells about the seed that fell among thorns:
“which grew up and chocked the plants.”
Then He explains in verse 22:
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
These Christians know God’s word. They have a relationship with God, but they are not exhibiting real trust in His word. They say they trust God, but really they trust in their own strength. They fail to admit that they can do NOTHING without the Lord, and try to make things happen on their own. They do not surrender to the will of God and allow the Holy Spirit to equip them with strength and power to do God’s will.
They also have impure motives for following God. They are seduced by the benefits of God, but will not surrender to the will of God. These benefits being unmerited grace, unconditional love, money, fame, power, authority, etc. they forget to acknowledge that God is the one who gives them these things and not by their own ability. Nothing that they do bears lasting fruit for God’s kingdom. It may reveal profits, but they are only temporary. Until one day, God is forced to show them who is God over all.
- Fruitful and Faithful Christian
In verse 8 Jesus talks about the seed that fell on good soil and this is where:
“it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”
Then in verse 23 Jesus explains this by saying:
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
These Christians hear God’s word and they understand God’s word by the help of the Holy Spirit. They avail themselves to God’s pruning. They allow God to be God in their lives. They know they can do NOTHING without Him! They surrender to His will and die daily to themselves. They spend quality time with God everyday getting to know Him and His word.
Because they are willing to do this, they produce a crop! They grow and produce fruit! There is a harvest from their faith. But what I love about this scripture is that Jesus points out the amount of harvest that will come from their faith. If they sew a little then they will reap a little, but if they sew a lot then they will reap a lot. The more we are willing to give up for God, the more God is able to use us for His kingdom.
Where is His seed falling in you? For me, I have been every type of person described above. I mostly struggle with not being the prideful Christian. But God is able!
Since God’s truth is so potent this parable is also mentioned in Mark 4:1-12 and Luke 8:1-15. I just want to focus on verse 15 in Luke 8, which says:
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
I love this verse because it points out how we can be a fruitful and faithful Christian. First it says the seed stands for those with a noble and good heart. In other versions of the Bible this person is described as having a honest and good heart or virtuous heart. This speaks of your character. God wants us to be noble/honest, full of virtue and with a good heart.
Then Jesus says that we must hear the word and retain it. God wants us to cling to ALL of His word. He makes no reference to a specific scripture that is more important than others, but we should obey ALL of His word. Not only must we hear the word but also retain the word! We must hold fast to God’s words even the ones that are difficult to accept.
Finally God says that the way we produce fruit is by persevering! Now persevering automatically implies that we will go through hard times. We will experience challenging moments. God tells us they will happen in Isaiah 43, but we must keep fighting! We must keep going! We must never give up! We must persevere! It is also important to note that Jesus says that through perseverance we will produce a crop. It is not through osmosis, wishing really hard, reading self-health books, so on and so forth, but perseverance in God, patience, and a “keep going” spirit; this is how we will produce a crop.
So where is God’s seed falling in you? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the type of person you are when hearing God’s word. Then strive to be a fruitful and faithful Christian in order to be affective in God’s kingsdom!