THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
Matthew 13:3-17 KJV: 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. (10) 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 Esaias, 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. (17) For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
Matthew 13:18 KJV: 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.
Here, the Lord Jesus teaches on the how the seed of God’s Word produces the Kingdom or TOTAL DOMINION OF GOD’S NATURE, CHARACTER AND ABILITY in our hearts: wills, minds, emotions and bodies.
In fact, in the account of this same parable in Mark 4 the Lord Jesus said:
Mark 4:13 KJV: And He said to them, do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables?
In other words, if you understand this parable, you can understand ALL other parables of God’s Word and His Kingdom!
The parable teaches that God’s Word is sown as seed in the human heart: will, mind and emotions. The quality of the heart determines how much fruit that seed of God’s Word will produce in the human heart: from nothing up to 100-fold which represents the Kingdom or TOTAL DOMINION of God’s nature, character and ability.
In summary there 4 conditions of the heart:
- The wayside heart–the dishonest heart: this heart is dishonest, rejecting the obvious truth of God revealed in nature, BECAUSE they want to continue in sin (Romans 1.18-21, John 3.19). So Satan comes immediately to remove the Word from their hearts and darkness follows because the light of the Word (Psalms 119.130) that was removed. The solution here is honesty and genuine repentance.
- The stony heart—the heart that is not determined: this heart is not determined as it gets offended when persecution and affliction arise for the Word’s sake (Mark 4.17). The solution is determination to stay with the Word even unto death (Job 13.15, Revelation 12.11).
- The thorny heart–the heart that is not disciplined: this heart is not disciplined as it gets distracted with the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things. The solution here is discipline by the power of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5.22) giving self-control and proper time management. (Ecclesiastes 3.1-8, 11; Matthew 22.21).
- The honest and good heart—- the heart that is honest and diligent at different levels. The solution here is increasing honesty (Psalms 15.2, 2 Corinthians 4.2) of heart and diligence: consistent, concentrated and well-directed effort (Hebrews 11.6) by faith in the mercy and grace of God to release the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word and prayer.
As shown above, the good news is that we can CHANGE THE CONDITION of our hearts as an act of our will, followed up with actions backed by faith in the mercy and grace of God!
So we CAN and SHOULD CONSISTENTLY (as a daily habit) judge ourselves and set our wills to improve the condition of our hearts by honest confession and repentance of sin:
1 John 1:7-10 KJV: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Proverbs 28:13 KJV: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
So, by using the blood (Hebrews 13.20-21), the Word (1 John 2.5; 2 Peter 1.4, 5-10) and the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14.2; Ephesians 6.18) exercising honesty and humility of heart, we can use the mercy and grace of God to triumph over the infirmities of our hearts.