1998-09-14 - The Parable of the Sower
Mark 4: 3-20
The main players are the sower, the good ground, and the various forms of
unfruitful ground. The parable is basically simple to understand, and yet,
for some reason Christ choose to explain the meaning of it in great detail.
The types of ground:
The highway ground. This is the seed that falls on the pathways between the
corn fields. When it is sown there the birds get it. Those who hear the gospel
are compared to the highway ground. They are those who hear the word of
God and understand it not (Matt. 13:19) The hear the word of God but
it makes no impression upon them. If we do not give heed to things which
we hear, we are as the highway ground.
The stony ground. Consider how far these stony ground hearers go. They hear
the word and do not turn a deaf ear to it. They even receive it with gladness.
There are many people that are glad to hear a good sermon, but they do not
profit by it. They are pleased with the word of God, but they are not changed
by it. When trying times come there is no foundation or root for them to
hold on to. So while they began well, something hindered them, Galatians
5:7. Trials have a way of shaking some people and confirming others.
The thorny ground. This seed goes further, it takes root. However the good
that they gain by the word is overcome by the weeds and thorns of the world.
So while above, the stones spoiled the root, now the thorns spoil the fruit.
The thorns represent the cares and riches of the world. Worldly concerns
choke the spiritual life right out of the soul. Worldly cares distract and
divert us from our duties and quench affections that are pleasing to God.
The good ground. A great encouragement is here for us. The word of God, when
sown, does not always come up empty, Isaiah 55: 10, 11. The great distinction,
between this seed and the other seeds sown is, in one word, fruitfulness,
John 15:8. It is interesting that some bear more fruit than others. We should
aim at the highest mark, seeking to bring forth a hundred-fold. But even
the seed that brings forth fruit that is thirty-fold will be graciously accepted
by our Lord, for we know that we are under the rule of grace, not law.
"I know of nothing which I would choose to have as the subject of my ambition
for life than to be kept faithful to my God till death." C. H. Spurgeon
Soli Deo Gloria,