His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:
‘When they look, they won’t really see.
When they hear, they won’t understand.’
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
Jesus told a parable – a story designed to connect with the heart of the listener and this parable was about a farmer sowing seed. Firstly, he explained to his disciples that people whose hearts and minds were closed, wouldn’t get what he was saying. He then went on to explain the meaning of the parable to the disciples. The seed was the word of God – the message of Jesus, about his kingship and his kingdom. Four different things happened to the seed that the farmer sowed and in the same way, there were four responses when people heard the message of Jesus:
Firstly, the seeds that fell on the road that was eaten by birds were like people who heard the message of Jesus but didn’t accept it or believe it. Secondly, the seeds that fell on stony ground and grew but withered because of lack of water, were like people who gladly heard the message of Jesus but when the going got tough, they gave up – they weren’t really rooted in God. Thirdly, the seeds that fell amongst weeds were like people who gladly heard the message of Jesus but they got distracted and put other things first, such as worries and wealth, which choked them so they didn’t grow properly. Fourthly, the seeds that fell on good soil were like people who gladly heard the message of Jesus and stuck with it – their lives became abundant and fruitful.
It’s worth noting that fruit takes time to grow and ripen. It’s not an instant thing. And it’s the same with the message of Jesus. We can hear and respond immediately, but it takes time for the word of God to transform our lives. We need to be firmly rooted in Jesus and keep our eyes fixed on him. We don’t want to be Christians that fall at the first hurdle or get tempted to put other things first in our lives. We need to be fertile soil, then patiently, over time, our lives will produce much growth and fruit.
Today, reflect on how much growth or fruit the message of Jesus is producing in your own life. Ask God to let you be like the good soil.
Let my faith not be trampled or snatched away.
Help me to fix my eyes on you
and to trust, rely and cling to your Son Jesus Christ.
May my life be like the good soil,
ready to accept your word,
and may it grow and be fruitful.
This day and forever.
What are the distractions that might take our eyes off Jesus and how can we avoid them?