When taking a first look at the Parable of the Sower, it is easy to look at the soils and quickly point fingers at people whom we feel could fall into these categories. Let me start by saying this: Jesus did not teach on this to point fingers, and it is not why I am touching on this either. Jesus taught this parable to have us each take a deeper look into our lives and to open up our ears to truly hear what he is saying.
I think some people may have experienced multiple types of soil in their life, while for others that may not be the case. However, what is important is that you understand the value in where your seed is placed. I personally think that this parable must be important considering it appears in Matthew 13:3-9, Mark 4:2-9 and Luke 8:11-15.
Jesus used four different scenarios to get this point across.
|1. The seed fell among rocky places.||The birds ate the seed up quickly.||Seeds are not planted in this person’s life. They “listen” to the truth of Jesus without allowing and accepting Jesus. The hard ground the seed is on doesn’t allow the seed to grow. This happens when someone is engulfed in deeply-rooted sin and allows the sin to take over.|
|2. The seed was placed in rocky places without much soil.||The seed sprang up quickly, but later was scorched by the sun due to the lack of a root.||Seeds are placed in this person’s life, and they take in some of the truth about who Jesus is and profess they know him. However, because there is no depth, their heart has not changed and their faith disappears.|
|3. The seed fell among the thorns.||The plant grew but was killed by the thorns.
|This person appears to have received the truth of Jesus, but sin (i.e. sexual sin, greed, lust, etc.) distracts and takes them away from a life with Jesus.|
|4. The seed fell on good soil.||The seed produced crop that multiplied.||The person HEARS AND RECEIVES THE WORD OF GOD and their life is for Jesus. This person will have heart and life change and are living vessels for Jesus.|
Jesus also cautions us to beware of false prophets in Matthew 7:15-20:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them… Likewise, good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit… Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Here, Jesus explains how a man’s heart must be in ample condition to receive His word.
I challenge you to take time to reflect on your life. If your soil is not in the correct condition to receive the goodness of Jesus, God can till it. He tells us to turn away from sin and He will be there with open arms. I pray that if something is holding you back, or if you are bluntly living in opposition of what you know is right, God will break down those walls and barriers. No matter how big the issue seems or how hard your situation is, it takes the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains with Jesus.