Parable of the Sower

When looking over the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15), we see that Jesus gives an image of how the word of God (the seed) receives different responses from different people (different kinds of soil). The first three soils do not respond well, but the fourth soil – the good soil – responds well and bears spiritual fruit – thirty, sixty, and one hundred-fold. Two observations:

 1) In this parable, the only thing that changes is the soil. It is not the sower that changes. It is not the seed that changes. It is not the sun that changes. It is just the soil. And the soil represents the person who hears the word. In other words if you are not bearing fruit, you are the only one to blame. You cannot blame your circumstances. You cannot blame the preacher. As long as the preacher is sowing the word of God, the only thing that prevents it from producing fruit is you.

 2) There are only four soils listed here. Did you notice that Jesus did not mention the mixed soil? The partly hard, partly rocky, partly thorny, and partly good soil? Or the sometimes hard, sometimes rocky, sometimes thorny, or sometimes good soil? Or the somewhat hard soil? Or the somewhat rocky, or thorny soil? I know, one of those is probably where you feel like you fit in. But those soils aren’t here.

That’s because Jesus is never a fan of mediocrity. He is not interested in you finding out how much rock you can mix in your soil and still bear a little fruit, or how many thorns you can secretly nurture and still produce a few grains. Jesus wants to see you overflow with fruit. He wants to see you abound with grain. He is not interested in a two-fold harvest. He wants to reap thirty, sixty, and a hundred-fold.


And the thing is if the power of the word of God is unleashed in your life, then you will bear

fruit. The seed is what does the growing. As long as the seed finds receptive soil, the seed will take root, grow, and produce fruit. The word of God is living and powerful. If you welcome it into your life it will take root, and grow, and produce fruit. It is not up to us to force fruit. We just need to let the word do its work in our hearts.


For more on the parable of the sower, listen to the sermon by Randy Curtis.

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