"But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:23)
There’s a passage in Matthew where Jesus tells the parable of a farmer who sows his seeds in the field. The seeds fall into four categories: the seed that fell along the path, the seed that fell among the rocks, the seed that fell into thorns, and the seed that fell onto good soil. As Jesus explains the parable to his disciples, he tells them that there are basically four kinds of people, and each has a different response to the things of God.
The first seed was dropped along the path, and the birds quickly ate them up. Jesus explains that this seed represents the person who hears the Word, but is quickly distracted by the Enemy, and the Word is “snatched” from his/her heart. This describes many people in our culture. They hear the Word, but do not understand it and do not search for answers. The Enemy moves in quickly and removes any desire they had to learn more about God. They dismiss it and continue with their sinful ways.
The second seed fell on rocky places where there was not much soil. Therefore it grew up quickly due to the shallow ground, but withered away on the first hot day because it had no roots. Do we know people like this? They come to church, hear the Word and catch on fire. However if their conversion is not genuine and they are not rooted in Christ, they quickly burn out and return to their worldly habits and lifestyle.
The third seed fell into thorns that choked out the plants as they tried to grow. Jesus tells us that this is the person who heard the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. I recently heard a preacher say, “If you can’t say amen, say ouch!” This verse might be an “ouch” for many of us in the baseball world. We may be Christians, but when we are surrounded by non-believers who worship money and possessions, we can fall into this trap as well. We are still saved, but we are not producing fruit – and when we are not fruitful, we cannot glorify the Lord.
Finally, there is the seed that falls onto good soil; it flourishes and produces fruit. This is the person who longs to learn and understand God’s Word, and who is fruitful and productive for the Lord. This life has real meaning because it is living out its true purpose - to bring glory and honor to His name. As a result, and as an added bonus, comes real peace and joy that passes all understanding. As we strive to be like this seed, Christ’s church will be a beautiful garden in a world of weeds.
So...which seed are you?
Prayer: Lord, please continue to teach me through your Word, and never stop convicting me when I stray. Let my life shine for your glory!
Suggested Reading: Matthew 13