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we see Lord teaching the first of what is known as the Parables of the Kingdom.
· The first of which is the Parable of the Sower or as it is sometimes called, the Parable of the Soils
A Parable means literally “to cast alongside”, or “to place side by side”.
· It’s a story/an illustration that gives us a comparison
· It uses something familiar to teach us about something unfamiliar.
James Montgomery Boice “The parables break through mere words and make us ask whether there has indeed been any real difference in our lives.”
· And I think that certainly is the case for us here in .
Jesus often use parables to illustrate his words. To explain difficult to grasp truths to us.
· And through them He gives us a real and tangible sense of the unknown and unseen Kingdom of God
o by pointing out the similarities to things we do know
§ Things we can see,
§ things we can touch, things we can relate to.


At this point in the life and ministry of Jesus, great crowds of people, a “vast multitude” were following him from place to place.
· They are flocking to Jesus…as they hear of His works,
o The people are amazed at Him
o Jesus is teaching with great authority unlike any they had ever heard
§ And the authority of His words are backed up/proven by undeniable miracles
· the healings, the cleansings, the driving out of demons –
· The deaf hear, the dumb speak, and the sight is restored to the blind
· the very power of God is on display in the wonderful and magnificent life and work of the Son
· As you can imagine:
· The crowds are pressing in on him to hear, to be healed, to be cured
· They are so determined that they would crush him in their desire just to be near him
· And Jesus simply steps into the disciple’s boat and pushes back from the shore and begins to teach.

In this first Kingdom Parable we see The Sower, The Field, The Seed, and The Soils, and The Harvest.

1st in the Parable we see The Sower,
[3] “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
· A sower is one who sows/spreads the seed for the harvest
· In those days, long before machinery and farming equipment
o The sower would have a bag of seed and would walk up and down the rows of the field
§ As he went along, following the foot paths
§ he would take a handful of seed
· And cast it into the field – sowing the field from corner to corner

Who is the sower?

· Jesus explains The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
· In that sense, the primary sower/the chief of sowers/the original sower is our Lord Jesus himself
o But is Christ the one and only sower? No he has passed on the job of sowing the seed.
· Usually we consider this as the job of the minister/the preacher/or some other trained leader
· But in Jesus said Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do;
o and in this sense, the work of sowing the field is a calling to, “Whoever believes” in Christ
§ That is the task of all professing Christians/all born again believers
o To join with him in the work/the task/or the labor of sowing the field
o We must remember Jesus said to the disciples “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”

What is the seed?

you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
Clearly the seed is the Word, the word of God, it is the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom.
· It is the promises of God, the message of forgiveness of sins, a right relationship with God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And as the seed contains life/and has in itself the power to bring life, so does the Word:
· As John writes in his Gospel
· (ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
o You see, Christ himself in this way is the living word of God
o Not only the sower in this parable but the one who is sown to the hearers
speaks of the Blessed Man – the Blessed is one who meditates daily on this living word of God – this seed of salvation – and is himself planted by streams of water
· Growing strong, yielding fruit, and prospering in the care of the Lord.
· For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
What then is the field?
The field of course is the world – it is the people all around us (near to us and far away) who do not know Christ.
· Have not heard or have not believed on Jesus as Lord and Savior.
We are to go to them Jesus said in in his final words before his ascension: you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
· The field then is our friends, the field is our family, our neighbors, these are those who are near
· The field is also those who are far off
o Throughout our state/country, and even to those in foreign lands.
(ESV) [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
· We as believers are all commanded by the Lord himself to sow the field
· From corner to corner, from edge to edge, with the good seed, the word of God
o And we will not be alone in this, but will be accompanied by the Lord himself.
That brings us now to the soils
The soil in the parable represent the heart – the difference between each of these 4 types is only in their preparation.
Jesus encourages us here in our Gospel witness and gives us great insight into the unseen hearts of the hearers to the Gospel.
· At the same time He gives us a mirror to see the state of our own hearts and our standing before God.

1st is the soil along the path

V4: And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
Explanation in V15: And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
· As the sower sows, inevitably the seed is going to fall on the foot paths throughout the field
· These paths represent the hardened heart of the 1st type of gospel hearer
· They are so established in their sin, wicked ways, self-reliance and/or self-righteousness that they are
· Hardened and resistant to the message
· These are the scoffers
· They will outright/and immediate reject the Word
· Or completely ignore it - in-one-ear-out-the-other inattention
· Perhaps even reacting with anger, mocking, and immediate dismissal, or arrogance
· Jesus says to expect this, it isn’t you they are rejecting, it is Him.
· These hearers are the ones Jesus speaks of
· (ESV) They will indeed hear but never understand, and... will indeed see but never perceive. For their hearts have grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
· When these hard hearted hearers hear…v15 says
· Satan comes, like the birds in the field, and snatches away the Word leaving nothing… no change, no impression, no understanding is left behind…
· They make for easy work for satan and his henchmen
· But the hardened hearer is not guiltless- they become conspirators/collaborators with the devil in this willful rejection of the Gospel
· These hardened hearers are so in love with their sin that they cling to it, and refuse to give it up.
· And sin hardens the heart to God
· So, witnessing to them is like throwing seed against concrete
Does this heard hearted hearer describe your heart towards God?
· Are you here because of a desire to know Jesus?
· Or have you already rejected-outright the message and are resistant, ignoring the word of God
· If that’s you, You may be the hard heart - the soil along the path
· I know the heart and mind of the hard hearted hearer well.
· I admit to you that this was once a good description of me
· But by the grace and mercy of God, he plowed the soil of my hardened heart
· And he can for you as well
· The promise is true: I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

2nd is the rocky soil

· V5-6 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. [6] And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
· Explanation in v16-17 [16] And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. [17] And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
· Therocky/thin soil hearers respond immediately, even receiving the Gospel with joy, easily, happily
· But they haven’t counted the cost, they never really see their own sin and surely never truly commit their lives to Christ
· And take up their cross – dying to self and living to Him
· The helper/the Holy Spirit/the root is not in them
· Maybe they were just checking this Christianity thing out
· But they certainly aren’t making any real commitment or making any long term plans to plug-in
· And When you aren’t planning on staying long, you don’t put any roots down.
· Missing this true born again salvation – they only play the part, they appear good on the outside but underneath is a hardened blind heart.
· These are shallow Christians, permanent backsliders...
· Watching the life/the faith of one of these thin/rocky soil hearers, you might see they come for a while/then irregularly/then never, the might get baptized then almost as quickly leave the church
· They may make a profession of faith but nothing changes in their lives. They are not truly born again…
· These fall away at the first sign of trouble
· When the promised trials and tribulations come, as we know surely that they will, they are out.
· Maybe they were promised or expecting that once they made a profession of faith that their life would be easy,
· that they would be successful and get that job they wanted
· or marry that person they so desire
· but instead maybe they get cancer,
· or a loved one passes away,
· or a divorce comes,
· or a someone at the church says something that offends them
o or hurts their feelings or steps on their pride
o or points out some sin problem in their life
· Jesus says that some trial or problem eventually arises – shining the light on the true nature of their faith – that it never really existed
· And they say, this isn’t what I signed up for
· And they are Gone, ditching the faith/the church/never to return
· They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.
o John says to be ready/expect this
o Their departing is evidence - evidence of a dried up, withered and worthless faith
o Evidence that they were never truly in the faith
· D.L. Moody – the great evangelist said Faith that fizzles before the finish was flawed from the first.
Is it possible that this describes your heart?
We should seriously ask ourselves this question, am I the second soil?
· Am I just one tribulation/test/trial/failure away from dropping the faith and running away from Jesus?
Has tribulation and the trials come and you are still standing in the faith?
· Paul says [3] … we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, [4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, [5] and hope does not put us to shame, (WHY?) because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
· If you have been tested by the fire and trails of life and still rejoice and hope in Jesus, then you can be sure that God’s love has been poured into your heart

3rd is the Thorn choked soil

V7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
Explanation in v18-19 [18] And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, [19] but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
These are the ones who hear and perhaps come to church, maybe their entire lives but have no real living relationship with God through Christ.
o The look like other Christians, maybe can even recite some doctrine but on the inside they are dead.
o They have never recognized their need for a savior and never accepted his authority and Lordship over their lives
o Their lives are still ruled by worldliness
§ They are so very distracted with the cares of this world
o What are some of the distractions/the thorns of this world?
o Money – a desire/all consuming to make it
§ To have many possessions, to drive the right car, to have the right house
§ It’s a desire for things over God
§ [24] “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
§ There is not enough energy/time/ability in us to dedicate our lives to money/possessions/things and serve God
· That’s a trap we need to be very careful of
o Power/Fame
§ To be made much of by man, this pride of life is actually a love of worldliness/love of self that is evidence of your true nature of resistance and rejection of God
o Family/kids
§ Soccer games, dance, cheer
§ There is a distractedness that can be all consuming if your focus is allowed to be ruled by these activities
o Entertainment – is a distraction
§ Can you name every character in Star Wars and recite their back story but have no real understanding of God’s Word?
§ Is your free time filled up day and night with every spare moment going to watching TV/Sport/Movies
o What gets you fired up and excited? Are you consumed with a driving passion for the things of this world or of Christ?
o Now, there is a place perhaps even a good place for many of these things but Christ must be first, “seek first the kingdom” , he must rule and reign over all else.
· Which of these first three soils is saved? None
· How can you tell? What do all three of the first soils have in common? What do they lack? What is the point of even planting a crop? They bear no fruit.
· John the Baptist Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
· Jesus describes these as fruitless branches, to be taken away, gathered up and cast into the fire ()
· We should carefully examine ourselves and ask, if this thorn filled soil is us?
· Are you here only going through the motions as your true desires are of this world?
· Is your greatest joy found in him or somewhere/anywhere else?
4th is the Good Soil
· V8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
· Explanation in v20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and WHAT? bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
The Good Soil, this is the miraculous crop, the work of the Holy Spirit, who prepares the soil, stirs the hearer to accept the seed of the Gospel.
· Amazingly, the King himself, God the Spirit is planted into this heart, the good soil.
· And there is an explosion of God’s power working through the new life of the Good Soil hearer….
What is the distinctive difference between the 3 bad soils and the Good soil?
· They receive the word, accept it, and bear fruit
· Not just a little but they bear a supernatural harvest 30/60/100 fold.
o A good crop would have been considered a 7 or 10 fold crop would have been a very good harvest
o But 30/60/100 fold could be only the work of God, a miraculous outpouring of the fruit of the Spirit
· These hearers receive a “spring of living water welling up to eternal life…”
o They are overflowing in joy with a bounty of good fruit for the kingdom…
How will you know if you are a Good Soil hearer? Jesus said: "You will know them by their fruits.
· What is this fruit of the Spirit?
o love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
Yes, you will witness and be rejected by the hard ground hearer.
You may weep over the shallow/stony ground hearer that looked so promising but walked away from the faith.
You may sit side by side with the hearer choked by the cares of this world…
But do not despair, remain faithful:
Sow the seed of the Gospel from post to post in your little field – your area of influence -- because there are those hearers with hearts like the Good Soil.
Many will reject – but many will be saved…
· And God is going to reach those good soil hearers, possibly even through you, you have the chance to be a part of this kingdom work.
Spurgeon “There is a reception of the Word of God that fails to be effectual, there is a sowing that comes to nothing.”
Stephen Smith “If there is not fruit coming outside of you then there is no confidence that the seed is planted inside of you.”
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