Before Jesus told this story, he had gone into the grainfields with his disciples who began to pick wheat because they were hungry. As we know, Jesus is always getting in trouble on the Sabbath, so as you guessed it, this was a Sunday. Jesus told a couple other stories in a couple other places before this one, and more and more people started paying attention and gathering. I think this so goes along with Thrive, although this particular story wasn’t mentioned. Yes, we do need to make sure that we are always in the word so we can thrive in our lives, and how often we do that determines what kind of soil that seed is falling on.
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Where are you in this story? Jesus is talking about us, here, we are the seeds, or rather, His word is the seed in our hearts. What kind of soil is your heart made out of? Where is this seed falling on you? Matthew 13: 1-9
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. Jesus is saying that not everyone understands him when he talks in parables like this, because some people are just ignorant. He is not being selfish by not letting everyone have this knowledge, but he is saying that it is something that has to be pursued. If we pursue this knowledge and understanding, we will surely get it and keep it. It is a gift(that keeps on giving) that is offered to everyone, but many choose not to accept it. When he says Whoever has ears, let them hear, he is talking about whether or not we have chosen to listen to His word in the way He intended it to be heard, with our hearts, not our ears. Ears for the Word, not the words. . does that make sense? Matthew 13: 10-13
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ Isaiah prophesied that there would be people who would live their ways sinfully, never understanding what any of this means. How sad, right? People too often just don’t listen to understand, their heart has become calloused because of things they heard about God that they don’t understand; they feel pain that, whether or not it was meant to be felt, they did not seek God for help or comfort from. They do not know the truth about God’s love and compassion, so they have become closed off to Him completely. If they would just listen and let God heal them, they would understand, if only they knew that life was meant to be better. Matthew 13: 14-15
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. But blessed are you who understand! You see God for who He is, you hear the Word for what it means! Many people live their lives in darkness because they never knew how to listen the way you have learned how. They did not press on towards the goal, but you are. You have let God heal you from the calluses on your heart, you have opened your ears to hear and your eyes to see so that you may understand God a little bit more every day. =Relationship. Matthew 13: 16-17
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When people hear the message about the kingdom and do not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to people who hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Where are you in this story? How often do you listen to the Word for what it truly is? How well do you know it and cling to it when times get tough? We know you understand the Word, but are you really in good soil? Will you produce a crop? How rooted are you? Matthew 13: 18-23
Go ahead and read it again if you’d like. What is your soil made of? What is keeping these seeds from growing in your heart? What is keeping you from growing in the Word? How well do you want your relationship with God to grow? What would you not give to open your heart to Him? Are you sure? Are you going to help others to understand the Word the way you do? Are you going to scatter seed, even if some of it falls on bad soil? Remember, some of the seed did fall on good soil and produced a crop, so what do you have to lose? Don’t spread yourself too thin, though. I urge you to make good choices in where you put your heart, such as friends, hobbies, choices of music, movies, and websites. Satan is so good at trickery, and even if some choices in your life may seem harmless, think about it: if I make this a part of my daily life, is it going to help me live with a tender heart, or not? Are your roots in pots, or by streams…