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April 11, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.’”—Mark 4:10–11(NIV)
Yesterday we were introduced to Jesus’ sharing of the parable of the sower and the soils. After Jesus shared, the disciples asked him about the parable. And like a good teacher, Jesus didn’t just answer their question but also helped them understand why He used parables.
To explain, Jesus quoted Scripture from Isaiah 6:9 which the disciples would be familiar with. In teaching by using parables, Jesus offered the opportunity to either find and understand deep truth or to turn a blind eye to an interesting story. Those who did the latter would probably avoid a greater condemnation than if they had just rejected spiritual truth they clearly understood.
Then Jesus went on to explain this parable, which He considered essential to understanding other parables. The seed represents God’s Word and the sower is the servant of God who shares the Word with others. And the human heart is like the soil, which must be prepared to receive the seed so it can take root and produce a harvest. The quality of the soil determines the future of the seed.
The soil from the path is like the hard heart which resists God’s Word (the seed) and makes it easy for Satan (the birds) to take it away. The thin soil above the rocky ground is like the shallow heart of a more emotional listener who joyfully accepts the Word but does not deeply understand the price that must be paid to be a genuine Christ follower. The soil crowded with thorns and weeds is a picture of the crowded heart of a person who receives the Word but does not truly repent and choose to remove the “weeds” out of his or her heart. Things like the desire for status, prosperity, worries of this life, and other distractions of this world may hinder the seed of the Word from growing and bearing fruit.
However, the good soil is like the fruitful heart which is ready to receive the Word. The result is a lasting evidence of true salvation and the fruit of a changed life. Not all believers are equally as productive or fruitful, but from every true Christian’s life there will be evidence of spiritual fruit.
What fruit is your life producing in this season? May we as people live out the words of the apostle Paul in Colossians 2:6–7 (NIV), which says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” May His root continue to grow deeper in us and may His work in us produce fruit that glorifies Him!
PAUSE: What is the condition of your soil? What opportunities do you have to sow the seed of God’s Word today?
PRACTICE: Ask God to show you someone you can talk to about what God has been doing in your life and how you are growing through it.
PRAY: Father, I want to be fruitful in my walk with You and share the love You give me by spreading seeds of your Word in other’s hearts. Please prepare the hearts of people around me and guide me when sharing about Your Word as You prompt me to. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.