Recorded on January 27th, 2019
When we read or hear the parable of the Sower, do we truly understand what it means? Do we know if we are the sower, the soil or the plant? Christ explains the parable to us, we only need to open ourselves to Him.
Transcript of Sermon:
[Music] our scripture this morning is from Matthew 13 1 through 9 and 18 to 23 that same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it while all the people stood on the shore then he told them many things in parables saying a farmer went out to sow his seed as he was scattering them seed some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil it sprang up quickly because the soil was shale but when the Sun came up the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no roots other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plants still other seed fell on good soil where it produced a crop a hundred fold sixty or thirty times what was sown whoever has ears let them hear from 18 to 23 listen then to what the parable of the sower means when anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts this is the seed sown along the path the seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and it once receives it with joy but since they have no root they last only a short time when trouble or persecution persecution comes because of the word they quickly away the seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word but the worries of his life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke choke the word making it on fruitful but the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it this is the one who produces a crop yielding a hundred sixty and thirty times what was sown the word of the Lord for the people for the people of God thanks be to God wow I almost forgot what the same there maybe I did I don’t know I’m gonna blame that on cold medication our scripture today from Matthew 13 one through nine and eight through 23 now when I first looked at this scripture I thought to myself oh this is gonna be easy to write about well now not all things are as they first appear if we look only at verses 1 through 9 we see only a story about a farmer in the field who was sowing his seed unlike today’s equipment that places the seed in rows the farmer uses his hand to scoop up the seeds and it broadcasts the seeds to where the farmer thinks they will grow some seeds fall on pathways some fall on the rocks some fall of dust or shallow dirt some fall within the thorns and weeds some vall on Good Earth or they can sprout roots and grow strong and healthy after which they will produce more fruit sounds like a story about farming back in 1979 Peter Sellers was in a movie called being there now this movie was about a gardener named chance who was a little on the slow side mentally but was an excellent gardener when asked just about any question he always brought the answer back to something about gardening which was something he knew and loved and one of the first dialogues in the movie that introduces chance or Peter Sellers we find that what is perceived and what is actual are two different things president Bobby asks mr. gardener do you agree with Ben or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives Chance says as long as the roots are not severed all as well and all will be well in the garden growth has its seasons first comes spring and summer but then we have fallen winter and then we get spring and summer again now a Benjamin Brand Benjamin Rand he explains says I think what our insightful friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature but were upset by the seasons of our economy Chance says yes there will be growth in the spring now chance was speaking of what he knew intimately which was his garden where President Bobby and Benjamin Rand were both talking about finances and the economy which is what they knew none of the three had any idea that they weren’t all talking about the same thing chance perceived that they were all speaking of gardening we’re the others perceived they were speaking of economics now have you ever noticed that script writers can take a 600 page book then we’ll take us a week or two to read and they make a movie of it that will last an hour and a half one of the ways that the movie producers can do this is they start out with a short introduction of what has happened in the past they give a short synopsis of the events so they can get right to the exciting parts they have some of the good parts they leave some of the good parts out because there were other parts that were better that’s why when we read a book and then see the movie we usually say and the book was better now a lot of the science fiction movies start out with a preamble of what has taken place in the past telling us how they got to this point in the story if you’ve ever seen Star Wars from beginning you have lot doubtless seen a preamble the first time I saw Star Wars either I came in late or wasn’t paying attention but I missed the preamble and was for the most part lost during the entire movie what I thought the plot was wasn’t the plot at all when we look at our Bibles and read about the soar we have first the pre ant the parable that was given to the mass of peoples on the shore then the explanation given to Jesus disciples comes later the masses didn’t have the benefit of the explanation they didn’t even receive a preamble of this is what the kingdom of God is like Jesus didn’t even start out with this is a parable the masses were told the story about a farmer sowing seed in his field I have no idea what the crowd would have been thinking but I probably would have been wondering what was going on I mean a story about farming what does this have to do with anything now just like chance in being there the crowd wouldn’t have understood what Jesus was talking about if they realized that it was a parable and that it was had a different meaning would they have realized what the meaning was if we listened to just the first nine verses of Matthew 13 and the parable of the sower chances are we would think Jesus is talking about farming and how to plant seed however when we listen to verses 18 to 23 we can get a totally different understanding the seeds in the parable are the words of the kingdom or the Word of God the hard path is our inability or unwillingness to understand or as I would like to think our hard hurts the birds represent the evil one or the devil the rocky ground represents those of us that hear and quickly accept with joy the Word of God but then just as quickly dismiss what we have taught been taught when trouble appears the thorns are the worldly things that we long for the things that distract us from God’s kingdom they are the thorns that choke out the Word of God the good soil represents those of us that hear and understand about God’s kingdom they are able to take God’s Word and others and multiply the fruit of Christianity many times over there parable is quite easy to and when you have it explained to you as Jesus did for his disciples and what you know that when I first started studying the scripture for this for preparation for this message there was something about it that I really didn’t like you see the people Jesus was speaking to didn’t have a Bible like you and I have they couldn’t read along in their preferred version of the word and then jump ahead nine verses for an explanation as to what Jesus just said what had happened was that Jesus told his parable to the crowd of people and then turn around and explained it to his disciples but not to the crowd when I realized this I thought to myself you got to be kidding nobody would ever understand what he’s talking about God’s kingdom and not about farming this apparently wasn’t completely lost on the disciples either starting in verse 10 and continuing to verse 17 we can get an explanation the disciples came and asked him why do you speak to them in parables he answered to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven but to them it has not been given for to those who have more will be given and they will have an abundance but from those who have nothing even what they have will be taken away the reason I speak to them in parables is that seeing they do not perceive and hearing they do not listen nor do they understand with them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says you will indeed listen never understand and you will indeed look but never perceive for this people’s heart has grown dull and their ears are hard of hearing and they have shut their eyes so that they might not look with their eyes and listen with their ears and understand with a heart and turned and I will heal them but blessed are they are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear truly I tell you many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it and to hear what you hear but did not hear it now also we find these same words spoken by Paul to the Jewish leaders in Rome only he clarifies it a bit more for them in acts 28 27 and 28 for the people’s heart has grown dull and their ears are hard of hearing and they have shut their eyes so that they might not look it with their eyes and listen with their ears and understand with a heart and turn and I would heal them let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles they will listen and when he had said these words the Jews departed holding much dispute among themselves so Jesus told us parable to the mass of people knowing that they wouldn’t understand jesus knew that it was to be only his followers which were to gain understanding the majority of the Jewish society didn’t accept Jesus as God’s sons and therefore didn’t accept his teachings either the Jewish leaders hearts had become hardened to the point that they didn’t believe that as Xavier would come in the way that Jesus came they thought that the Messiah would return while riding on a warhorse was a sword in both hands and showing no mercy to the oppressors of the Jewish people they didn’t like the idea of a messiah that was meek or a messiah that showed mercy to others first Corinthians 1:18 and 19 says for the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God for it is written I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart Jesus knew that the crowd of people that were on the shore wouldn’t understand what he was speaking of because their hearts were hard and their ears were closed they thought the idea of a messiah was foolishness they were on wise and they were the perishing we are the lucky ones we get the benefit of both sides of this parable we get to hear the parable of the sore that Jesus gave to the crowd and we get to hear the explanation that Jesus gave to his disciples that would mean that we you and I are the good soil we have heard the word of God and we follow Jesus we grow and as we grow we shed fruit we give our fruit to the others because we are not like the crowd by the sea we have ears to listen we have eyes to see our hearts aren’t hardened we have wisdom God’s words have fallen on good soil here listen again to Jesus explanation from from Matthew 1:19 223 when anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart this is what was sown on the path as for what was sown on rocky ground this is the one who hears the word immediately receives it with joy yes such a person has no roots but indoors only for a while and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word that person immediately 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 lure of wealth choke the word and is and it yields nothing but as for what was sown on good soil this is the one who hears the word and understands it who indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundredfold and another sixty and in another thirty which soil are we are we the hard soil of the path that the Word of God falls on and then the word is taken away by all the evil of the world because we don’t understand maybe where the rocky soil we hear the word of God and believe but as soon as something negative happens we turn our backs on God our faith dries up and shrivels away are we the thorny ground we hear the word of God we understand the Word of God but we don’t follow the Word of God the world gets in the way it’s all of the little things I always go to church on Sunday yep just this once and go sit by the pool I’ve attended enough church services over the years I’ll sleep in this week I went to church on Easter that should be good enough till Christmas the thorns and weeds of the world reach up and choke out the Word of God we hear the lure of other things that pull us away from God’s Word one of my daughter’s birthdays was this past week I called to wish her a happy birthday and as we talked she told me that she just recently had her work schedule changed so that she gets Sundays off now she’s now looking for a church well what she told me highly concerns me you see she used to go to church now she feels as though she can worship God from her living room just as easily as she can worship God from a sanctuary she had a bad experience with Church as I found out the people from a church she attended who were quick to point the finger of blame but slow to see their own pitfalls I can’t say for sure but it sounded as though her previous congregation was there to Pat each other on the back and say good job you chased away another undesirable you can’t ever be too careful about who we let into our little Club yes my daughter has her faults as do my other two daughters and my son and as do I have faults are we proud of those faults am i proud of those faults certainly not but I know that I won’t deny that I have them you may need to fight with me to get me to acknowledge that I have them because I can’t see my own faults as readily as what somebody else may see I tell you this because as a Christian I find that I need to be careful about not only where the seed that I am sowing goes but also what kind of seed I am sowing am i sowing into the good soil or am i sowing sowing into this rocks is this the type of seed that will grow and multiply being able to in turn produce even more Christians or is it the seed of weeds that I saw that grow up bitter choking out the good I’m glad that my daughter has the opportunity to go back to church and I hope that she finds my Lord Jesus Christ there and not those that only judge I can only hope that she can find a church family that is as kind and welcoming and non-judgmental as the church family that I have found here now maybe were the good soil maybe were that nice rich black dirt that we get from the nursery down the road is that what we are we hear and understand the Word of God and we follow that word we take the word after we understand it and we give it to others so that they can also bear fruit to allow the seeds that Christ planted in us to grow too let their fruit grow to maturity and then to give that fruit to others don’t hold on to that fruit thinking it’s too difficult to share in this fruit give it away freely to all those that would like to partake in the fruit one other thing that we should keep in mind don’t forget to recede we must continue reading and receiving the Word of God for our soil to produce fruit we can’t read the Bible one time and expect that we will bear fruit just as we must plant seeds in a garden each spring for anything to grow we must also plant the Word of God within ourselves have we heard and do we understand the parable of the sower or have we heard a story about farming will we be the good soil or will we be the hard path where will the seeds that God Souls end up within you amen