In the parable of the sower recorded in the book of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus highlights the four responses that he received when the gospel is preached. The seed represents the gospel that is preached, while the soil depicts the condition of the heart of the hearer. The seed that fell on the footpath represents someone who is hardened by sin; he hears but does not understand the Word, and Satan steals the message away. The seed that fell among rocks, pictures a man who professes delight with the Word; however, his heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, his so-called faith quickly disappears. The seed that fell among the thorns depicts one, who seems to receive the Word, but whose heart is full of riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take his time and attention away from the Word, and he ends up having no time for it. The fertile soil portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word — and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in his life.
Matthew 28:19-20. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Lessons we can learn from the parable:
1. We have the responsibility to proclaim the message of the kingdom and to know how to present it clearly and in an effective way. In the Great Commission, Jesus our Lord passes the role of the sower to us. We are commissioned by God to be His ambassador, and each of us is to tell of the good news to the people we come into contact with. It’s our job to be in the world sowing the seed of the gospel. If we want to make disciples, we have to be mindful of the various kinds of soil. If we desire to grow a bountiful crop, we need to spread as much seed as we possibly can, knowing that a lot of it isn’t going to take root.
2.Not everyone that we share with will believe and it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict. Our duty is to be faithful in sharing the good news.
3.Those who believe the good news and receive it by faith and actively live it out will see the righteousness of God in their lives. The evidence of saving faith is a growing spiritual life.
4.Spiritual growth does not occur instantly, but will take time. Even the disciples, do not get what Jesus is saying and needs time to absorb the truth. However, the Holy Spirit will illuminate their understanding in the Word of God daily.
By Lee Ee Foo, Pastoral Staff (YCKC Bulletin 28&29 April 2018)