It Takes All Kinds (Matthew 13:1-9)
“It takes all kinds to make the world go around.” Different kinds of people add spice to our lives; they make life interesting. Yet, different people view Scripture differently.
The disciples seem to have been concerned that great multitudes were not being converted by Jesus. Jesus spoke this parable to encourage these disciples. The failure for conversion may not rest with the teacher but with the hearer.
A sower went out to sow. The sower would stand for one who taught God’s Word. The seed would be the Word of God (Lk 8:11)
Seed Sown by the Wayside, v 4
The sower threw some seed on the wayside; the birds came and devoured the seed.
In Jesus’ day, waysides were rather common. There were no fences to mark property boundaries; small paths filled this purpose. Because these paths saw much traffic, the soil became rather hard. Some of these paths became as hard as cement. No seed could penetrate this hard soil.
Jesus explains the meaning of this soil. This person hears God’s Word but he does not understand it. Satan comes and devours this seed.
- Satan can devour the seed through doubt. Genesis 3:1. Satan may ask us, “Does God really mean that?”
- Satan can devour the seed through false teaching. Since its inception, the church has been plagued with false teachers. The church in Pergamum had false teachers who encouraged eating food sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality (Rev 2:14). False teach still abounds and leads many astray.
We need to be careful lest we have hard hearts. Hebrews 3:13. Proverbs 28:14.
Is your heart hard?
Seed Down in Rocky Soil, vv 5-6
This soil did not have much earth. The seeds sprang up quickly. They died just as quickly because they had no root.
In Palestine, there is much rocky soil. This rocky soil has limestone lying just beneath the soil. When seed is sown there, it germinates quickly. The limestone holds water close to the seed. The limestone helps the seed absorb sunlight. Because of the water and sunshine, the seed quickly sprouts. However, because the seed can grow no roots, the sprout quickly dies.
Jesus explains this soil. This person readily accepts the gospel. Yet, when tribulation or persecution comes along, he quickly falls away.
This person wanted an easy Christianity. This person is only faithful a short while when things are going well. The moment this person’s Christian life becomes difficult, he leaves.
We must be careful that we do not leave the faith. Luke 9:62. Hebrews 10:38.
Are you falling away like this soil? Do you want an “easy” Christianity?
The Thorny Soil, v 7
The seed falls among this soil and the thorns choke the seed.
Jesus explains this soil. This person hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches become powerful. This person becomes unfruitful–He is more concerned with worldly things than with heavenly things.
This world can cause individuals to leave the Lord. Matthew 6:24. 2 Timothy 4:10. 1 Timothy 6:9.
Do you care more about the things of this world than the gospel?
The Good Soil, v 8
This seed falls on good ground and produces a crop.
Jesus explains this soil. This person hears and understands the word. This person produces fruit.
We need to give ourselves opportunities to hear and understand the word. We need to ask God for wisdom to understand Scripture (Js 1:5). We need to attend Bible study whenever that’s possible. We must study Scripture to understand it.
We need to bear fruit. We need to bear the fruit of another Christian (Jn 15:8). We need to bear the fruit of good lives (Gal 5:22-23).
What type of soil are you? Are you bringing a harvest?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.