The seed of the Gospel is for everyone and is never wasted when it is being sown. The Gospel seed is the type that is meant to be scattered everywhere. There is more than enough to go around.
Understanding the point Jesus was making in this parable was difficult for the disciples, so He went on to explain it.
Mark 4:10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 "so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’" 13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 "The sower sows the word. 15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
On thing Jesus said should haunt us. If you do not understand this parable how will you understand all parables. Understanding the parable of the Sower is of utmost importabce to us because failure to do so is like a garauntee that we will do likewise with all the others.
Let’s break it down: The seed is the word or we could say more specifically the Gospel.
Wayside soil is those people who hear the word but Satan steals it from them before it can sprout. Nothing ever comes from it.
Stony ground soil is people who hear the word and receive it with gladness, but they have no root and so endure only for a short time. If tribulation or persecution comes they stumble.
Thorny soil is people who after hearing the word have the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, desires for other things choke the word so that it becomes unfruitful.
Good ground is people who after hearing the word accept it and bear fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty and some a hundred.
In our American mass production and efficiency mindset we could likely be tempted to ask the question why did this man sow seed on ground that would be unproductive?
Is it possible that although fruit is enjoyable it is not the primary and only purpose of a Sower of the word?
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.