How casually we listen to the Word of God! If we don’t like a biblical teaching on spiritual gifts, remarriage, submission, reconciliation, justice, election, or the like, we reject the teaching as false, insensitive, not applicable to our situation, or only half of what the Word of God is saying.
In Jesus’ time, everyone was interested in what He had to say, so much so that Jesus had to step into a boat in order to teach with enough spatial clearance for everyone to hear him (v. 1). But Jesus realized that having a crowd of followers did not mean He had a crowd of true listeners. Not everyone was ready to fully understand or to follow faithfully.
The Parable of the Sower focuses on the different soils rather than the seed or the sower. Notice that the seed and sower remain the same in each scenario. Jesus distinguishes the purposes of the parables in verse 11. “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.” Some simply do not have the soil of a good heart necessary to receive and understand the word of God.
This parable is instructive for us today: We have an enemy who seeks to snatch away what the Word of God will produce in our lives almost as soon as the Word is heard! Persecution has the potential to lead us to fall away from our initial, joyous reception of the Word of God (v. 17).
Daily cares and concerns and the deceitful promises of money and material goods fight against the Word and limit the production of Christlikeness in us. Only a heart that receives the Word of God in meekness will yield the fruitful, maturing Christian life the Lord intends and desires for each of us, producing a crop of “some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (v. 20).
Prepare your heart even today to receive the preached Word of God. If your pastor is preaching through a book of the Bible, read the coming passage every day this week, asking Jesus to speak to you and your church. Or, reread daily the passage you heard preached last Sunday, asking the Lord to impress His truth on your heart.