The Sower is the Son of Man; The seed is the Word;
The soil is the human heart.
The Sower a name for the Preacher! He went forth to sow; not to criticize, or make a display.
All who are burdened with precious seed long to scatter it are also Sowers.
The prophets of old knew what the burden of the Lord meant. May His message so burden us that we shall go forth seeking the lost, serving God with our heart.
The four different kinds of ground represent four distinct ways in which the Word of God is treated by those who hear it.
I. THE WAYSIDE, (or an Indifferent Hearer) (v 4)
A. The "Wayside" Is
1. A hard place to be
i. The indifferent hearer
a. But his heart is like a public
b. Open to every passer-by, and
c. Beaten hard with the feet of
ii. The heart that is open
a. For the pleasures of sin
b. Will be hard for the Word of
2. A Dangerous Place.
i. Exposed to the “fowls of the air”
a. The feet of every passer-by.
ii. No matter how precious the seed,
iii. It can only fall on it:
a. It cannot fall into it.
iv. The seed is always in danger
v. Fowls have quick eyes.
vi. The wicked one detects the precious
Word lying on the thoughtless heart
vii. The loss is never felt,
a. Its value has never been
3. A Hopeless Place.
i. The living seed can find no shelter.
ii. Although it may remain for a time,
a. It has had no entrance, and
b. So can show no life.
c. Indifferent hearers gain
II. THE STONY GROUND, (or Emotional Hearer) (v 5)
Here the word is--
A. Joyfully Received (v 20)
1. No depth of earth it is easily moved.
2. This hearer is often very emotional.
i. Their feeling is easily wrought upon.
ii. Tears are quickly shed,
a. As quickly dried up.
3. They hear the Word gladly;
i. Yet, their heart is with the world
B. Quickly Starved.
1. There is “no root.”
i. It soon sprang up,
a. Life was all on the outside.
b. No downward growth,
c. There was no plowed earth.
2. Beneath the emotional feeling
i. There lies the hard, unyielding rock
a. Of a stubborn will.
b. No room
C. Completely Scorched.
1. There is no spiritual nourishment
i. It is overcome by worldly circumstances.
ii. Their heart must be filled with love to God
a. The Word of God will not
b. Root and grow,
c. Stand “rooted in-love."
2. Persecution soon comes
i. They finally go back
III. THE THORNY GROUND, (or Double-Minded Hearer)
A. Soil Abundant.
1. There is plenty of depth for the roots of thorns
i. There is also depth enough for seed.
ii. In the heart of the double-minded
iii. There is willingness to receive God’s Word
iv. Yet, is more concerned with the thorns of worldly things.
B. Soil Was Already Occupied
1. That which is first is natural.
i. The thorns and the briers
ii. Have first place in the heart of man.
ILLUSTRATION: Placing a good apple within a barrel of rotten apples, will spoil the good apple. So as with people, you associate with bad apples, a bad apple you will become.
2. But, that which is first
a. Must be taken away
3. That which is second and spiritual
i. Jesus the Christ
a. He is to possess and prosper.
1. The thorns will choke seed.
i. The seed will not choke the thorns.
2. The sins that are allowed to abider in the heart
i. Will eventually be exposed
3. Although they may not be visible now,
i. These sins which choke the Word,
ii. Are deadly enemies,
a. Although often excused.
b. Are never forgiven
CONCLUSION: The Good Ground, (or Honest Hearer) That seed which landed on the good ground, the ground which was prepared through hearing God’s Word, ground that was willing to be used, to become fruitful.
The key word in (v 23) is “…understandeth…” which would allow a person to believe the seed [or person] heard the Gospel and understood. So what is Christianity? My definition based on a few verses is: “A person who willingly listened to the Gospel, and understood, then through their personal conviction from the Holy Spirit (belief) accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour with a true heart, with a faith newly acquired, and is willing to change their ways and walk with the Lord.”
This is based on
Romans 10:17; John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Hebrews 10:22 and Romans 12:1-2. A few more verses could be added.
However, to be “Fair and Balanced” we also must see what a Christian is not. “A person, who was baptized as an infant without prior knowledge, or one who claims Christianity through his baptism, or one who has done good works in Jesus’ name, or one who has joined all the churches in town without a personal conviction by the Holy Spirit, and has never accepted Jesus as their Saviour is not a Christian.” This definition is based on the same verses of Scripture as noted above, also in addition
This parable of “The Sower” defines the realm of “Christianity.” All the seed [people] called themselves Christian at one time or another, yet only one seed out of four took hold.
There is clearly a defined Christian, and he should be seen by his works. We are allowed to judge in relation to out works. So long as we make sure I judge myself first.As a seed did you land on the plowed good earth, the earth that was plowed by hearing the Word of God, and prepared for growth from the Holy Spirit. Or did you land elsewhere? Do you know Him? If you died today, would heaven be your hom