It may well have been the first parable or story from life Jesus told in his ministry. He may have been watching a sower walking along scattering seed as he walked. He said the kingdom would be like that sower sowing his seed. As he sowed the seed fell on different types of soil. Some fell on hard, wayside ground that served as paths around the field where the people walked. The ground was so hard that it didn’t penetrate and the birds would come along to eat up the seeds before they could germinate. Some seed fell on rocky ground where large stones were just beneath the surface. The seeds would get into the thin layer of dirt and spring up quickly but the roots couldn’t go to any depth and when the sun came up the plant quickly withered and died. Some seed fell on the ground where all kinds of weeds, briers and grasses were growing. These grew up with the plant and choked the life right out of the plant. Some seed fell on good ground and brought up fruit.
Jesus said the seed being sown is the word of God and the soil on which it fell was the hearts of people who heard the word. Even when the pure word of God is sown into the hearts and minds of people it doesn’t develop the same results because people have different hearts and attitudes.
Some have that hard heart that the word of God can’t penetrate. Even when they hear the message of truth it doesn’t affect their life. Satan comes quickly to take the word out of their heart to make sure they don’t believe and are saved.
Some hear the word but their heart is shallow. They receive the word with joy but soon the interest and the spiritual life dies away. Temptations pull them away from God and his word so they fall back into the world.
Some hear the word of God and accept it, their lives are changed for good and for God. But the plant is choked to death by the worries of life, the riches of the world and the pleasures of life. Too many want to live for God but not God exclusively. They want God to be satisfied with a part of their life while they struggle with all kinds of other things. They allow the worries of life to overtake them instead of taking their worries to God. Everything is still gauged by its material value. No wonder Paul warned about the desire for riches being a trap to pull us away from God and declared that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Pleasure is so important that just about everything is judged by how much pleasure it brings. Even our faith and family life is weighed on the scales of pleasure. If it isn’t fun it can’t be of value. No fruit is ever brought to perfection or maturity.
Thank God some seed falls on good ground that represents the good and honest heart that accepts the word and brings forth fruit some thirty times what is planted, some sixty times as much and some one hundred times as much.
While the different hearts may represent different people, it may also represent one person’s heart at different stages of their life and growth. There are times when we all tend to be hard hearted. There are times when we tend to be shallow, times when we are conflicted and try to squeeze God into a small part of our life while we make room for our worries, riches and pleasures. Hopefully, as we grow we develop more and more the good and honest heart that hears, obeys and bears fruit for the Lord.
It is always a good time to do a heart check to see how one is reacting to the seed of the word of God when it is planted in us.