To a crowd of people Jesus told this parable:
“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:3-9 ESV
Then later Jesus goes on to explain it to his disciples saying:
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Matthew 13:18-23 ESV
Ok so now let's go through it and look at it piece by piece.
·A sower went out to sow.
- The sower is anyone who is speaking the Gospel to the world.
-The seeds are the word of God being preached to the world by the sower.
So now we come to were it talks about seeds falling on 4 different types of places. This is a picture of what happens in different people's hearts when they hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached. First off let's make clear what the Gospel is. The Gospel is that we are dead in our sins, deserving of eternal hell, but Jesus lived the perfect life that we could not, was crucified and died for our sins, and was raised from the dead on the third day so that we can have new life in Him.
With that said let's see what Jesus says happens in people's hearts on hearing this.
#1· ALONG THE PATH
-These are people who hear the Gospel but are not able to understand because Satan snatches it away. They are blind to the Gospel. To them it is foolishness. They do not believe because they are children of the devil.
-In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
-The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
-For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:6-8 ESV
-Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
John 8:47 ESV
-Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
John 10:25-26 ESV
#2· ON ROCKY GROUND
- Jesus said these are ones who hear the word and receive it at once with joy but fall away with trouble and persecution.
- This is what I call the prosperity Gospel. These people hear the Gospel preached but what they hear is not the message that was actually preached. Instead of hearing Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure found in a field. A treasure so precious that the finder sold all they had to have only that treasure. Well this kind of person hears that Jesus will bless them. They say "what can I get". They don't want Jesus because he's Jesus. They want Jesus for what he can do for them. Money,fame,health, and to fix their mess and they joyfully jump on board with that. So when they don't get rich, healthy, happy, and get their marriage fixed or they are ridiculed for their claim to faith they fall away because Jesus didn't work for them. Judas was this type of person. This is a person who has believed in vain. Their faith is not in Jesus to save them from their sin but in something else entirely.
-Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
John 6:26-27 ESV
-Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV
-Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12 ESV
-They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
1 John 2:19 ESV
-“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7:21 ESV
#3 · AMONG THE THORNS
-Jesus said that the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word and these people are not fruitful.
This is much like the second one except these people hear that they are to sell all they own and only desire Jesus but they love the world. They count the cost of following Jesus and it is not worth it to them.
-And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
Matthew 8:19-22 ESV
-Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:21-22 ESV
-“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44 ESV
-Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15 ESV
#4 · GOOD SOIL
- Jesus said these are the ones who hear the word, receive it and bears fruit.
These are genuine believers who have had their hearts transformed by the hearing of the Gospel through the Holy Spirit.
-Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ESV
-I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 ESV