The word “parable” literally means “to throw alongside.” Jesus, as He taught, threw a story alongside His teaching so as to make the teaching memorable and so that the teaching would have its greatest effect.
On one occasion Jesus told a simple story about a sower, some seed, and the soil.
To get at the heart of this story, let me point you to three questions.
How will I receive God’s Word?
Some people might assume that this is a story about Gospel advance, and that might be partially true, but it is more of a story for us as to ask how we will respond to God’s Word.
People receive the Word of God with one of four different hearts.
When ground is hard, the seed just bounces. The seed never takes root. Some hearts are like that.
Other hearts are like the seeds that fell in a place where the ground did not allow the seed to grow deep.
This is common soil for our day. The worries of this age, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires of other things choke out the word. Entertainment, sports, and work all do that today.
But then, there is good soil—the heart that is surrendered to God.
How will I respond to God’s Word?
The way that you receive determines the way that you will respond. There is only one way to hear God’s Word—with a surrendered heart. Look at each phrase of verse 20—hear, welcome, and produce! Do you welcome God’s Word? This is Your Word, O Lord. That should be the end of our debate.
What will be the result of receiving God’s Word?
The result will be determined by the response. Fruit is produced when we receive properly God’s Word.
• Get into God’s Word.
• Guard your heart.
• Gauge by obedience.
Am I willing to examine my heart?
Am I willing to examine my fruit?
Am I willing to surrender my life to Him?
(This post is based on the message “How Will You Hear?” which you can watch at fbclaf.org/video)