The Parables of Jesus – The Sower – Allowing God’s Word to Grow in You
(Bible portion to read: Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20)
The word of God has been compared to Light (Psalm 119:105), Water (Ephesians 5:26), Sword (Hebrews 4:12-13), Bread (1Peter 2:2), and Seed (Mark 4:1-9). We use a lamp to expel darkness, water to cleanse dirt, sword to judge/punish/exhort, bread to grow strong, and seed to obtain fruit. The word of God expels the darkness of sin, washes us to keep us clean spiritually, judges us and exhorts us when we commit mistakes, feeds us to make us spiritually strong, and enables us to yield the desired fruit to glorify Christ in us.
In this article, we see the word of God as the seed. We have been attending many meetings right from our childhood. We heard the word of God in our Sunday Schools, Youth meetings, Holy convocations, Gospel meetings, and many others. Thank God for He has blessed us richly with His word which can be found anywhere in books, internet, Television, radio, and so on.
Have you ever wondered how this word of God works in us? As we read in the above-mentioned portions, we read a parable told by the Lord Jesus which is named as “The Sower”. In this parable we find many elements. However, we are going to focus on three main elements in this article. They are the sower, some seeds, and four different grounds. The sower is the Holy Spirit, the seed is the word of God and the ground is our heart. It is not only sufficient if the sower is skilled and the seed is good for the plant to grow well, but it also essential that the ground be good as well. The Holy Spirit knows the requirement of every soul and sows the word of God accordingly.
In this parable, we see four different grounds which represent the hearts of four types of believers. It is an undeniable fact that we all do not stand on same pedestal in our spiritual lives. Let us discuss about these four types of believers and examine ourselves.
Firstly, the sower sows some seeds which fall by the wayside (the hard heart). These seeds are eaten up by the fowls of the air. This instance represents the casual listeners. This type of believer thinks that attending a meeting would do them a favor in spiritual life. They come to please people. They do not hide the word of God in them. So, the wicked Satan comes and takes away the word which was sowed. When you ask this people after a meeting about the message which was delivered, they cannot answer because Satan has already taken away the word from them.
Secondly, the sower sows the seed in a stony ground (the shallow heart). Here, the seed tried to grow into a plant. However, when the sun comes up, it gets scorched because the root of the little plant cannot penetrate deep into the soil. This instance represents the highly emotional believers. This type of believer gets attracted to the loud music and reverberating tone of the speaker. Their enthusiasm is at the peak when they are present in the church hall. They get emotional and take many decisions quickly. As the days pass by, when troubles come their way, instead of applying the word of God which they have learnt, they fail to do so and give up. They are hearers of the Word but not doers.
Thirdly, the sower sows the seeds in a thorny ground (the crowded heart). Along with this plant, the thorny plants also start growing. They are strong enough to choke this little plant. This instance represents the heavy laden, busy believers. Most of the believers like them try to travel on two boats at a time. They hear the word of God and start growing. However, their worldly cares and burdens also grow faster and choke the growth of their spiritual life.
Finally, the sower sows some seeds on a good ground (the fruitful heart). The seeds are covered by the soil, the roots penetrate deep into the soil and the plant grows. The plant not just grows but also yields fruit. This instance represents the believers who submit their hearts to God. They ask the Lord to prepare their hearts. God listens to their prayers and enables the Word to stay in their hearts. He leads them by His spirit but not by their emotions. He takes away all their burdens and cares. In short, He clears all the obstacles which hinder the work of the Word of God in the believer.
My dear friends, let us not be casual listeners who attend meetings to please others. Let us not fool ourselves by giving way to temporal emotions. Let us not carry all the burdens and worldly cares with us. Submit your burdens to the Lord Jesus who promised to care for you (1Peter 5:7). Every time before you hear the Word of God through any means, ask the Lord to prepare your heart and help you be a fruitful Christian.