Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, (A) some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5. (B) 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. (C) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8. (D) 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.
EXPLANATION OF THE PARABLE
- It was told by Jesus to illustrate different reactions to the gospel message
- Anyone who faithfully proclaims the Gospel message
- The seed is “the word of the kingdom”
Matthew 13:19a 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.
1) “THE WAYSIDE” (The First Soil)…
Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
- This soil represents one who “hears…and does not understand” – Mt 13:19a
- Those who have hardened their hearts prior to hearing the Word
Matthew 13:15 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 withtheir ears, and should understand with theirheart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
- The “birds” represent “the wicked one” (called “the devil” in Lk 8:12) 12. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
2) “THE STONY PLACES” (The Second Soil)…
Matthew 13:5 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.
- Here we learn that an emotional reception without a strong foundation based upon the Word will not enable one to stand against tribulation and persecution
Matthew 13:21a 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.
3) “AMONG THE THORNS” (The Third Soil)…
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Matthew 13:22 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.
- But whose ability to bear fruit is choked by:
- “the cares of this world” – Mt 13:22b
- “the deceitfulness of riches” – Mt 13:22c
- “pleasures of life” (added in Lk 8:14)
- Sowing to the flesh make it impossible to reap of the Spirit!
Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
4) “THE GOOD GROUND” (The Fourth Soil)…
Matthew 13:8 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.
- THE FRUIT OF WINNING SOULS TO CHRIST– Romans 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto), that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
- THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (i.e., a Christ-like character) – Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- THE FRUIT OF GOOD WORKS– Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.