The Parables of Jesus
Part 2 The Parable of the Sower
Series Dates and Topics
1. The Purpose of Parables
2. The Sower of Seed Explained
3. The Wheat and the Tares
4. The Mustard Seed and Leavened Bread
5. The Treasure in the Field and the Pearl of Great Price
6. The Unforgiving Servant
7. The Lost Son
8. The Great Feast
Matthew 13:14-15 (NKJV)
And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’
I pray that today’s message
transition from a head knowledge into a heart revelation
and through the power and the person of the Holy spirit
renew our minds and transform our lives in the name of Jesus.
Matthew 13:16-17 (NKJV)
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
We want God to be able to bless us with more understanding!
I’m going to move seamlessly between Matthew, Mark and Luke (synoptic gospels) during this series in teaching this and most of the parables.
Before we begin I want to read this from the gospel of Mark…
Mark 4:13 (NKJV)
And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Of course, Jesus is speaking of the Parable of the Sower.
…How then will you understand all the parables?
Q: So, if you can understand this parable, won’t you then be able to understand all the parables? A: Absolutely!
Next week, in The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, I’ll give you additional keys to understanding all the parables. I’ll introduce a concept called “expositional constancy”.
We know Jesus wants us to understand His teachings because of what He said immediately after His explanation of “The Parable of the Sower” to the disciples in Mark’s gospel…
Mark 4:21-23 (NKJV)
Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God’s word is a Lamp and a Light and it’s meant to be understood!
23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Q: Do you have ears? Then you can hear, if you hear with the right heart!
The key is to search your heart and to hear God’s word with a good and honest heart!
The Parable of the Sower is teaching and warning each person about our heart towards God and His word of God!
Let’s Begin the Parable of the Sower…
Matthew 13:3-4 (NKJV)
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.
The sower is Christ, and I’ll show you next week, in The Parable of the Tares, why we know this, but I also believe this parable speaks of anyone who sows or shares the message Jesus Christ.
4. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside;
The “Wayside” is a type of soil/ground and soil here represents the heart of a person.
Luke 8:15 (NKJV) But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Good ground=Good Heart. Ground/soil is the heart.
The seed is word of God.
Mark 4:14 (NKJV) The sower sows the word.
Luke 8:11 (NKJV) The seed is the word of God. (abbrev)
…and the birds came and devoured them.
1. A Wayside Heart
Greek for Wayside is hodos meaning: literally a way or a travelled way, road, a travelers way, journey, travelling. Metaphorically it means: a course of conduct a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding
Wayside in this parable is simply, hard and uncultivated ground that will not yield a crop. Like a road or a pathway that has been walked on and had not been tilled and prepped for planting.
Matthew 13:3-4 (NKJV)
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
Matthew 13:18-19 (NKJV)
Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
The “birds” in verse 4 is a metaphor for Satan or other demonic spirits Jesus calls, “the wicked one”.
Luke 8:12 (NKJV)
Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
The devil is preventing this person from being saved by confusing their mind/understanding.
During the invitation past week we read about this person…
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NASB)
… the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Ephesians 4:17-19 (NKJV)
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
If you find yourself in this dangerous condition today, I’m going to give you the opportunity to reverse it, to change your heart and open your eyes to Christ and I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity because you may never have another!
2. A Stoney Heart
Matthew 13:5 (NKJV)
Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Stoney ground has very little soil for any thing to grow and does not allow the formation of deep roots to nourish real growth. It’s actually rock thinly coated with soil!
Matthew 13:20-21 (NKJV)
But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. NASB …they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
This person says in his heart, “I’ve tried it your way God, and it doesn’t work!”
· I’ve tried prayer, but God never answers my prayers. I don’t need God, I’ll do it my way on my own!
· I’ve tried tithing and just fell even further behind on my bills or didn’t have enough money to do all the things that I like to do. I don’t believe the bible when it comes to tithing!
Do you see the pattern? A little tribulation or persecution arises because of the word and immediately they stumble. They believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
· I’ve tried moral living, I’ve tried marriage, I’ve tried honesty, I’ve tried forgiveness…
But there was not the true foundation of the word deep inside you!
Yes, initially it all sounded good and with joy I tried it God’s way, according to His word!
That’s the whole problem! You don’t try God, you don’t try prayer, you don’t try tithing, you don’t try forgiveness, you don’t try Christ!
You give your entire life to the cause of Christ and for the rest of your life!
Q: Do you know what happens when you get all excited and say, “I think I’ll try that for a while and see if it works for me”?
Satan sees your lack of commitment and spiritual depth and he comes in with tribulations, persecution and temptation to try to cause you to stumble and fall away
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
If you not vigilant, you’ll go right back to that same hard ground, that heart of stone and you’ll stumble and fall away.
This is why the bible says… “By your patience possess your souls.”
You don’t try Christ! He didn’t try the cross, He bore the cross!
Jesus never said, “This is to hard, it’ll never work!” By faith Jesus endured to cross so that you don’t have to stumble and fall!
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
The deeper your commitment to the word God and doing things God’s way; the more anchored your hope is in Christ…
· The sun won’t scorch you!
· Tribulation won’t intimidate you!
· Persecution won’t scare you!
· Temptation won’t move you!
Because, you are blessed, trusts in the Lord, and your hope is the Lord.
You’re like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river! You don’t not fear when the heat comes; you’re not be anxious in the year of drought and you never cease from yielding fruit.
3. A Thorny Heart
Matthew 13:7 (NKJV)
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
Matthew 13:22 (NKJV)
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Cares of this world
Luke 21:34-35 (NKJV)
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Deceitfulness of riches
Matthew 6:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches will choke and kill the word God in your heart and you will become unfruitful.
Like Joshua challenged Israel, and Jesus challenged the Rich Young Ruler, you to are being and given a choice… choose you this day whom you will serve!
4. A Good Heart
Matthew 13:8-9 (NKJV)
But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Matthew 13:23 (NKJV)
But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Just like each person in this parable, today the soil of your heart is either by the Wayside, on Stoney ground, among the Thorns or on Good ground!
Q: Be honest with yourself today! Your very soul depends on it!
Q: Where is your heart?
If your heart is anyplace but good ground, where there is understanding and fruitfulness and the word is producing growth and new life, then you’d better make it right today! You’d better change your heart today!
In each case in this parable every person was a hearer of the word!
If you’ll remember, I told you earlier in the message that All four types of hearts are present whenever God’s word is sown and all four types are in this building right now.
Q: Which heart do you have?
· A Wayside Heart?
· A Stoney Heart?
· A Thorny Heart?
· A Good and Honest Heart?
I’m not talking about good intentions and neither is Christ in this parable!
Q: Did you know that good intentions won’t get you to heaven?
The wise man once said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”
I’m talking about you heart!
Prayer for Congregation, Heavenly Father, I pray for a supernatural
change of heart for everyone anyone here today whose heart toward you is unbelieving, unrooted or being choked by the cares of this life! I pray everyone in the sound of my voice today have a good, honest, fruitful heart for Christ! Please take time to hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about your heart today.
Invitation for Salvation
Now I only want to speak to the Wayside heart, the unbelieving heart that is not prepared for judgement, the heart that is unsure of its eternal home. The unresponsive, stubborn heart towards the word of God.
Matthew 13:15 (NKJV)
For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’
This heart is hearing the word with its mind rather than its heart!
Q: Is that your heart today?
God made a promise to the children of Israel that is also available to you today…
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Here’s what you have to do… you have to believe! Not in your head but in your heart!
Of course, salvation requires repentance and confession, but it also requires believing! But not in your mind but in your heart!
Romans 10:9-11 (NKJV)
… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
When you truly believe (in your heart/by faith) the simple gospel message, that Jesus really did give His life for you, bore your sins and is a living risen savior, you won’t have to be ashamed when Christ returns!
Q: Do you know what else you can do today?
A: You can see yourself/your name in John 3:16.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that believes whoever (your name here) in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Raise Hands if You Prayed that Prayer