Earlier this week, I went through some notes that I wrote about what I learned from Matthew 13:1-23. As I read over my journal, I thought it would be a great idea to share what I learned with you.
In this text, Jesus is telling a parable, or story, regarding the Parable of the Sower. The scriptures I want to deal with for a moment are in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23 like this in the New International Version:
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 the 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 shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 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, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
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 heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 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 or thirty times what was sown.
Jesus tells the multitude and the disciples this parable and goes on to explain the purpose of parables as well as the meaning of the parable of the sower. He points out four scenarios in which seed was sown but with different reactions and results.
In the parable, some seeds fell by the wayside but birds came after it and devoured them.
Some other seeds fell on stony places, like gravel, and ended up being scorched by the sun. The seeds withered away because they had no root.
Some seeds fell among thorns but the thorns sprang up and choked them.
But other seeds fell on good ground and produce a crop in great size!
Jesus explained between verses 18 – 23.
But look at verse 23 for a moment. We are told that those who HEARS the Word, UNDERSTANDS it will BEAR FRUIT or PRODUCES.
The term hears means “to receive news, to pay attention.”
The term understands means “to comprehend.”
And Bears Fruit or PRODUCE means “to work, behave toward and cause to be.”
We have to be in a place to receive the news and pay attention to what God is showing us. We must intelligently comprehend it and in turn we will produce and be productive in our walk in the Lord.
Where are those seeds falling in your life? What kind of soil do you have?
Do you hear the Word but only get it on the surface but not deep down only for the enemy to talk you out of believing?
Do you hear the Word but get more excited than committed, only to get depressed and discouraged again when trouble really hits?
Do you hear the Word but worry so much about wanting and desiring things that it chokes the truth of the Gospel in your life?
Or, do you hear the Word and it really soaks through the surface and into your heart and you become productive and bear much fruit as evidence of you hearing and understanding?
I used to be very concered about being productive in the Kingdom of God and throughout my life. Those anxieties, however, are knocked down and taken out when time is spent with the Lord, seeking to understand and hear and grow in Him in order to bear fruit.
The potential to grow and produce is great so long as you Hear, Understand God’s Word and put it into practice. In turn, you will bear fruit.