We are all familiar with the parable Jesus used in Matthew 13:18-23, using the farmer and the planting of the seeds. If we look closer at this passage, we can identify ourselves as both the farmer and the seed.
In Matthew 13:19, Jesus says,
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.
We can look at this passage, and at some point in our walk, we are the seed, and we are the footpath. We are the seed, for we heard the Message, and in our infancy of our Walk, we didn’t understand what we were hearing. It is in that confusion, that lack of understanding, that Satan comes in, and lures us away, with simple, worldly ideas and lies. Lies are so much easier to believe, and Satan plays on our human, worldly make-up.
We are the footpath, for the seed about the Kingdom, about the Good News of Christ, falls on a hardened heart, a spirit that is unwilling to take in the seed of Christ. It is not impossible to break through the footpath, but it does require lots of prayer and faith that God can and will break that footpath down to rubble.
Matthew 13:20-21 says,
The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.
We can look at this passage, and most of us have been the seed and the rocky soil at some point in our walk with Christ. We are the seed, we go to the altar, we turn our lives over to Christ, or rededicate our life to Christ, we have that joy in our heart and spirit. We stay on this momentous joy for days for some, and hours for others. Most times, unfortunately, it lasts until we walk out of the church, and make contact with the world. Satan knows just what to float in your direction, a song, a thought, a person, that will take you back to what you gave to Christ to handle.
We are the rocky soil, for we are witnessing the new Christian, or the rededicated Christian, and we cast doubt on their faith. It may be a person we don’t care for, a person that has wronged us. So why should I show support for them? Why should I be excited for their wanting to reach out to God? We can, and probably have been, that rocky soil that seeds have fallen in, that God has wanted us to cultivate, and instead of following our guide and direction from the same God that the new seed is looking to do, we halfheartedly show token interest, which in turn, lets doubt creep in the seed.
Matthew 13:22 says,
The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
As we look at this passage, we can relate to both the seed and the thorns. We are the seed, we hear God’s Word, however, that is all we do here: we hear it. We give token time to hear a Scripture, we try to put or confine it to a time limit, then resume our thoughts and worries about the worldly things. Too many times, we give 10 minutes to hear a short Scripture, to claim that we heard our Scripture of the day, then give the rest of the day to worry about how we look, how much money do we have, how do we look to the neighbor, the parents at the school, our friends. We grow impatient when our 10 minutes listening to a Scripture doesn’t produce what we want. Satan conveniently reminds us here that there is no need to give more than the 10 minutes we give, for that 10 minutes isn’t doing any good. Unfortunately more times than not, we do our token 10 minutes to impress our church members and our Pastor.
We are the thorns, for too many times we are quick to point out our neighbors deficiencies, we are quick to dismiss conversations about Scripture, and are instead quick to remind others of problems, situations, or adverse issues that may be surrounding them. We throttle the one thing we are supposed to do with Scripture and God’s Word: and that is talk about it and live it!
We have 3 scenarios in which Jesus used the seed of His Word, and the obstacles that hinder the seeds of His Word. As stated above, we all can say that, in each instance, we have been both the seed and the obstacle. But as we grow in our faith, our obedience, and our walk with Christ, all 3 of these scenarios can be overcome. It is so crucial that, as we grow and mature in Christ, we become the 4th. example in the parable, as Matthew 13:23 describes:
The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Obedience, true faith, and an always growing love for Christ will bring us to be both the seed and the good soil in this passage. We become the seed, as we continually grow closer to Christ, stronger in His Word, deeper in His Word. We become the servants of Christ that He wants us to be, and as we go forward, as Jesus as our Savior, all will be provided, as Christ promised us.
We become the good soil, as we grow in Christ, we are able to be the companion in Christ that we are called to be for new Christians as well as leading by example of Christ in our heart, in our spirit and in our life. As we mature in Christ, we in turn, can pass that on to our brothers and sisters in Christ. All of us are teachers in this good soil. As Christ teaches us, as He molds us in his image, we in turn, will help mold other seeds that God puts in our soil.
What are you today? Which seed or obstacle applies to your walk today? None of the 1st 3 scenarios are impossible to overcome, and none of them are too far out to be transformed into the 4th. scenario. Nothing is impossible with God. Cultivate your path today, and be both the seed and the good soil Christ calls us to be.