As he said these things, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Then his disciples asked him, "What does this parable mean?"
He said, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
||Word of God|
|The ways of the world
philosophy of the world
|Religiously shallow||Believed but
fell away after testing
(Not deeply rooted)
||Worries, Riches, Lusts|
|Spiritual Believers||Noble & Good heart
Christians are called to be the farmers, sowing the seed of the Word
of God into the world. Of course the farmer wants to sow his seed only
a good ground so that it will be fruitful. And there are often things
can do to prepare the soil. But this is not soley his responsibility.
he sows seed, I would imagine he would focus on what he perceives is
soil. But in the process, the seed also lands in places where the soil
is not ideal.
The ones along the path are those who fail to understand how the word applies to them. They don't take it to heart. Satan blinds their eyes to the truth, or puts mental stumbling blocks in their way. I'm always amazed when I hear someone from the intellectual elite say that Bible is difficult for them to understand. I think they must simply be reading it incorrectly. The Bible pretty much says what it means and means what it says. And thus people of all ages and generations have come to understand it. But there is a spiritual blindness that veils people's hearts. Speaking of the blindness of the Jews to the revelation of the Bible, Paul writes:
"But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." 2Cor 3:14-16
Those on the rock must in humility break up their soil and remove
rocks. They must be willing to give up their former convictions which
them from believing. Or else others can pray for God to break up their
soil by bringing them through humbling circumstances in hopes of
in them the necessary humility to respond to the gospel properly.
A Thorny Epiphany - VERY SIGNIFICANT!
"Land that produces thorns and
thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it
will be burned." Heb 6:8
Formerly, for a number of years I was of the opinion that those
among the thorns were Christians, redeemed but distracted, so as to not
produce much fruit as Christians. While the versions of this parable in
Matthew and Mark speak of these as being "unfruitful", the version in
Luke speaks of them not bringing fruit to maturity. I had given them
the benefit of the doubt and assumed that they had produced fruit, but
of an immature kind. I had also assumed that unlike the first two
cases, since the seed took root in their life, and it doesn't speak of
them dying, that they were saved, though remained immature. However
based on studies in John 15 and 1John primarily and like cross
references, I have changed my opinion.
In John 15:1,2 Jesus says, "I am the
true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in
me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he
prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." Only two
scenarios are presented here.
1. Either a person is bearing no fruit or
2. A person is bearing Much fruit.
Is there a third possibility - maybe bearing some fruit or not
bringing fruit to maturity - in which these thorny Christians can fit?
The following verses seem to answer no.
John 15:5:6 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."
If a person does not bear much fruit - I assume when
the season comes - then it states here that they are not remaining
(abiding) in Christ, and will be thrown into hell. So even if we can
read into the parable of sower concerning those among the thorns that
they may be bearing immature fruit, still they are not qualified to be
reckoned children of God. For as children of God remain in Christ, they
bear MUCH fruit. Either having little or no fruit from one's
Christian life, such a person is not to be reckoned saved.
|Bearing Much Fruit
|Indicative of Salvation
|Not Bearing Much Fruit
in the Long Run
This is very much along the lines of what John was saying throughout
1John. "Whoever abides in Him does not sin.
Whoever sins has neither
seen Him nor known Him." 1John 3:6 The word "abide", the
word "meno" is the same word used in John 15 for "remain". In fact the
NIV often translates "meno" as "live". The idea is to take up a
permanent residence. And again it says, "Whoever
live (meno) in him must walk as Jesus did."
1John 2:6 And likewise concerning remaining it John gives a
specific example in 1John 2:19 saying of a particular group of former
alleged "Christians", "They went out from us,
but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us,
they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of
them belonged to us." 1John 2:19 And as we can see from
the middle of this verse, while those born of God do have eternal
security and cannot lose their salvation, if alleged Christians don't
remain in the faith - which involves behaving as children of God should
which ultimately results in bearing much fruit - they had never really
belonged to the faith to begin with. Or as Jesus said, "by their fruit you will recognize them." Mt
There are those experimenting with Christianity for a time. It may
help them reform their lives. But "If they have
escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse
off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been
better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to
have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that
was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to
its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in
the mud." 2Peter 2:20-22
What time span are we talking about when it comes to being fruitful.
As a warning Jesus said, "For three years now
I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found
any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’... If it bears fruit
next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’" Luke 13:7,9
That's probably a good reference. Within three or four years of
becoming a Christian, one should be fruitful.
Burning Cross References: Compare with these scriptures:
The parable of the Wheat and Tares
"Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. ... Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Mt 13:30,40-42
The parable of the Dragnet
"the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Mt 13:47-50
The seed on good ground are those who don't just simply understand the message, but receive it into their hearts and conform their life to it. This is not to say that they received it with a blind, gullible faith. But that they took it seriously. Consider the noble manner in which the Bereans received the message:
"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11These are not like people on the rocky ground who received the message quickly and gullibly. These were people that received it with some skepticism, carefully examining it, making sure that it was true. And having done so, they will also be prepared to defend their beliefs against skeptical unbelievers, having asked of themselves the same questions. Through slow gradual perseverance they produce a crop. Weeds grow up over night. But fruit-producing plants take a while. James writes:
"you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:3,4One more thing to mention is that, though one may have started out on good soil, such soil has to periodically be broken up or else pride can harden the soil and rocks can also grow up. Many Christians who started off well, became popular and ended up not so well as they started. Becoming respected and popular is somewhat a danger. For it removes potential sources of humiliation which can keep the soil healthy. Respectable Christians must therefore be on their guard to avoid the pitfalls of pride and popularity. Nonetheless, I have found that institutional leaders tend to be the most arrogant of Christians.
|One day a farmer went out to sow
Scattering seed to and frow
Some fell along the path
Which could not deliver from God's wrath
For the devil took what they hadn't craved
So they didn't believe and were not saved.
Some fell on rocks but withered and died
For their faith was not deep enough to be qualified
To receive the life God promised to those
Who really believed Jesus died and arose.
Yes at first they were overjoyed
But when trials came their faith was destroyed
For they received it without their faith being rooted
And so fell away after they were persecuted
But then some among thorns fell
But in the end didn't mature too well.
For they were too concerned for their security
To bring any fruit to maturity
But those on good soil retained what they heard
It wasn't taken away by any bird
Nor did they fall away like those on the rock
But continued to believe when others did mock
The problems in life would not make them stop
And by persevering they produced a crop
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesSep 17,2010