The Kingdom is like a sower
Continuing our look at the Kingdom of God using the parables that Jesus gave in Matthew chapter 13, we turn our attention to the parable of the sower found in Matt 13:1-9 and his explanation of it, 13:18-23. He once again speaks of seeds. His focus is also on hearing and the condition of soil that receive the seed. When there are many things or people being contrasted in Scripture, it is often helpful to make a chart, to see the results side by side. Please see the chart that I made below:
The soils represent the condition of man when hearing the word of God (the seed). Each man compared has the following in common: each one heard the message of the Kingdom of God. Two of the conditions had to do with the understanding of the message; both the soil “along the path” and the “good soil”. There is a great importance in understanding, not just merely hearing or reading the word of God. Likewise, the other two (‘rocky places” and “among thorns”) share something in common; both upon receiving the seed (the word) allowed something to replace or extinguish it. It also bears mentioning that the only soil included that bears fruit is the good soil.
Duration of time also seems to come into focus here. Particularly with the seed that fell on “rocky places”; he receives it at once with joy, but since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. Then when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. Looking at the seed scattered “along the path,” the evil one comes and snatches it away, appearing to have happened right away like birds would do eating up seed scattered atop the ground. The seed planted “among thorns” speaks of a process over time of the cares of this world choking it. Finally, the “good soil” can also relate longevity as the seed has time to bear fruit, producing a crop.
Our job is to make sure our soil is fertile and not fallow ground. For others, we are to plant seeds, never fully knowing the condition of the soil in which we plant. After all, God brings growth.
Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12 NASB)