I have to admit that I am not much of a gardener, or a farmer, etc. I have been fortunate to have thrown some seed down and watch grass grow where it hadn't before, but over the years I have come to realize by trial and error that for stuff to grow, whether it be flowers, veggies, or grass, it needs good fertile soil to start with.
Jesus unloaded a rather lengthy and somewhat cryptic parable on the disciples, and the result was sort of a collective "Huh?", followed by blank stares and head scratching.
Jesus knew He had overshot His audience.
He had to back up, simplify, and restate.
Without going through the entire parable here this morning, the place we need to start is to understand the terminology.
The Sower is Jesus (or perhaps any preacher of the gospel), the Seed is the gospel, the soil is the heart of man.
That said, look at Matt. 13:19 - "While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside."
This is seed sown into poor soil.
Next look at Matt. 13:23 - "As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it."
There it is. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
Seed in bad soil reaps a failed crop (no gospel understanding, unsustainable Christlike attitude).
Seed in good soil reaps a healthy crop (understanding, comprehension, and love of the gospel).
So what do we do with that? The issue of responsibility crops up (no pun intended).
Who is keeping your soil fresh and fertile and receptive to the gospel on a continual basis?
Who's responsibility is it?
Jesus (and His chosen sowers) will continue to sow.
What kind of soil will it fall upon year in and year out?
Were you happy six months ago, but now are unhappy?
Has church gotten boring? Hum-drum? Ho-hum?
I'll bet you think something has happened to "IT" or to "THEM"...
Have you checked your soil lately?
Is your heart drying up?
Have you made steady paths to the sower of the seed?
Are the ravens stealing your seed before it can even take root?
Soil check people.
It should smell fresh and free from putrefying anger and discouragement.
It should be moist and soft and ready to receive a fresh seed when planted.
It should be healthy and nutritious and well fed and watered, not dry and dusty from neglect.
Jesus said we are prepared when we "perceive and comprehend by hearing" (vs. 9).
Don't just hear with your ears today. Hear with every fiber of your senses, both flesh and spiritual.
Filter out the negative voices. Some of he most negative voices can be coming from the place you least expect.
Listen to Jesus. Receive the Seed into fertile ground.
Stay spiritually healthy. Stay spiritually focused. Stay spiritually fertile.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><