“And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:4-8
I remember listening to old Adrian Rogers sermons and hearing him say a parable was “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”. In the parable of the sower, Jesus uses the familiarity of sowing seeds (an earthly story) to the spreading of the word of God (a heavenly meaning). When Jesus first told the parable his disciples did not know the meaning of it, so they had to ask Jesus (Luke 8:9). Jesus responds by telling them that the seed is the word of God. In this parable the “word of God” is being spread by a sower. Most of us have had plenty of sowers in our life. A sower being someone who has shared the word of God with us. This could be our parents, a friend, or a pastor; anyone who shares the word of God is a sower. What we see in this parable are four places that the seed lands once sowed.
Place #1- The Path
The path represents the people who hear the word, but after hearing the word it is quickly snatched out of their hearts by the enemy. The enemy being displayed by birds in the parable. The devil comes and takes the word right from their own hearts like the very thief he is (John 10:10). Why does the devil take it? V12: “so that they may not believe and be saved.”
Place #2- The Rock
The rock represents those who once they hear the word of God they recieve it joyfully! In fact, you have probably seen people like this before who get pumped up and might be Jesus fanatics for a week or two or three, but then that quickly fades away. The ones on the rock are those who could have a dramatic emotional Jesus moment where they receive the word of God with joy, but Jesus says that this group believes for a little while and then all of a sudden fall away in a time of testing. They get on this spiritual high and then once that wears off and reality sets in they fall away from Christ all together. Why does this happen? Jesus says that they have no root. And since there is no root, and they haven’t truly rooted themselves in Christ (Col 2:6) they wither away (Luke 8:6). With no root there is no connection whatsoever to the living water that they need to stay replenished.
Place #3- The Thorns
The ones among the thorns are those who hear the word, but are choked out by the cares and riches and pleasures of life. They get choked out about all the meaningless cares in life such as their popularity and status, along with worrying what others think about them. These are the people who hear the word, but are to consumed in their own riches and wealth (or wanting of wealth) to grow any further. These are the people who hear the word, but are choked out by pleasures in life. Pleasures in the things they have, pleasures in the sensual. Because of these things choking them out their fruit NEVER matures, which is utterly devastating.
Place #4- The Good Soil
The good soil are those who hear the word and hold fast to the word. They are the ones who keep the word of God with an honest and good heart. By doing so, the ones in good soil are the only ones who bear fruit!
What is bearing fruit?
Bearing fruit is the outward display of what is going on in your heart.
Paul shows us in Galatians 5:22 that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. All of these are going to be an outward display of how you truly love others. These fruits are evidence and a result of following Jesus!
John 15:5 say this: “whoever abides in me…he it is that bears much fruit.”
Abide. An odd word that might not register in most people’s brain, including mine, means to obey, to follow to stick to and to hold to. So if you obey, follow, stick to, ABIDE in Jesus it says that you will bear much fruit!
In John 15:4 we see Jesus saying, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine.”
Reading this we know that we cannot bear fruit without Jesus! It’s impossible! We need him, our true vine!
Questions for reflection:
Am I bearing fruit?
Does my life look like those who are in the good soil, or like those on the path, rock or in the thorns?
Everytime you are in a service, pray that God would allow all seeds to land in GOOD SOIL!