Parable of the Sower



Speaker 1:

I want to read from Romans chapter eight, and as we read, I invite you to stand if you are able beginning in verse one.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death for what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in human flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires. But those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires. 


The mind controlled by sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile towards God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You however, are not controlled by the sinful nature, but are in the spirit if indeed the spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of the spirit who lives in you. This is the word of the Lord. Thank you. 


Speaker 2:
Thank you Jesus. You guys, Carly. And I just want to say how thankful and grateful I am to be here. I mean, when we came a year and a half ago, never in my wildest dream did I ever think I would be here. Like this blows my mind. And I want to thank David for following in God's footsteps, for saying yes to God because his obedience to God has led me here. And so thank you. He's in the back. And also Pastor Jonathan and pastor Jeremy, I was given this opportunity with a question, do you want to preach sometime in July? And my first thought was, no, I do not. But then immediately it was like, yeah, I do. I really want to. So Jonathan gave me any week in July, and I was like, well, not the first because that's coming up way too fast and I don't want to procrastinate so much that it's at the end. So July 16th, here we are. It's in the books. We are going to talk today about a parable, and Jesus starts in Matthew 13, his preaching on parables. And for a little 62nd elevator ride recap, we're going to be talking about the sower. We're going to be talking about seeds, we're going to talk about soil, 



Seed, and soil. Say that anytime fast. So we are going to start in Matthew 13, and here we go. I'm going to say pray real fast. Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this opportunity. Lord, I pray that as I stand here and as we sit together as a church, that your words fill this space. Jesus, everything that you have taught us, we know and we are learning. And we thank you Jesus. Let this parable soak into our hearts as it did many years ago. Father, you are good and you are holy and you are just. It's soften our hearts, Lord, and let us listen to your gospel in your name, amen. So chapter 13, verse one goes that same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake, such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it while all the people stood on the shore. 

Now we kind of have to backtrack a little bit to figure out what does this mean? Why did he leave the house? Well, in Matthew 12, Jesus had been preaching to the crowds. He's been healing people. He's been talking about the prophets of old. He's been talking about the Sabbath. He's been rebuking fair, the Pharisees, and he's been bringing demons out of people. He has been working. His spirit has been in overdrive, we could say. And it was a busy day. And this to me is so beautiful because it shows how real Jesus is. Jesus needed to get away. And it says that so beautifully of He went to the sea. It needs, we need to understand that when we feel overwhelmed, it's good to get away. It's good to have rest. And Jesus went to the sea, and that's a beautiful illustration because that's where he called his disciples. 

That is where he knew that he could go and talk to God and where he could go and listen to God. He needed a space where he felt free, where he felt comfortable, where he knew that he would be by himself, a place where he was familiar with. And then the next verse says, such a great crowd gathered around him and he got into a boat and sat in it while all the people stood on the shore. And this is a cool element in the parable because it says such a great crowd, and he couldn't just sit on a hill and talked to the crowd. It was such a great crowd that he couldn't stand and just shout out his words. He went onto a boat and went into the sea. And there's something about this. I'm not a water person, tummy issues on the water, but when you get in a boat and you go out into the sea, the people on the shore can hear you clear as day. 

It's some sort of science thing, and I should have done more research on it, but it is a real thing. So Jesus is out on the boat, he's out on the water, he is still by him. He's still peaceful. He's able to tell this parable calmly and that shows Jesus' character in staying patient, kind of like what we talked about earlier about the fruit of the spirit. Jesus was being disrupted. He went to the shore to get peace. He went to the shore, he went to the sea to find rest, and everyone came. He didn't rebuke the disciples saying, I just needed two seconds. He was able to love through the destruction. He was still able to find a way to be true and yet to still love. And I think when my girls come home and when I'm feeling overwhelmed, when I'm feeling that I have poured myself out to people and they come in and they want a snack and they want a show and they want all these things, I need to still realize, okay, I can love them through the distraction. 

I needed a rest, but I can still love them in a different way. And that's what Jesus shows able to love while being distracted. And he did it his own way. He left, he was still present, but he was able to do something in action, and that's what love is. Love is an action. So he's out on the boat and at Matthew 13, three through nine says this. And he told them many things in parables saying, listen, a sower went out to sew. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil and they spring up quickly since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them. 

Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain. Some a hundred fold, some 60, some 30. Let anyone who had with ears, listen. Now Jesus kind of gives us this recipe with all these ingredients. Here's the flour, here's the milk, here's the sugar. And okay, great, but what does it all mean? Nine verses later, Jesus starts to get into more in depth about what it all means, what the sower represents, what the seed represents, and what the soil seed and sower, y'all. I picked a good one. And this is I think kind of God's goodness shining down and finding the good things in life where this parable God gives Jesus gives us the answer, which when you're preaching, you don't always get God's answer right away. And like God's like, Hey, here's this parable and I have the answer sheet. So we're going to get into the answer sheet right now. So the first one is, the first soil we're going to talk is about the path. 

And Jesus says here, then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart? This is what was sown on the path. Now for me, when I think of a path, I think of something that's worn. It has been worn down. It is a path that has been walked on multiple times by people, by multiple people. That person has been walked on their whole life. They've been walked on for forever. Their heart is so worn down, it's not even soil, it's hard. It's compressed, it's packed. There's nothing for that seed to soak into. They have been hurt. They can't even seed the seed that's been planted for that seed to even grow. The soil represents those that have hardened their hearts and refuse to listen to the gospel. 

They simply reject it without even taking time to consider it. Seeds cannot bring life in hard pressed soil. There's no nutrients. There's no, there's no nutrients. The water just slides out of it. Similarly, the gospel cannot take root in a hardened heart and the seed was snatched away. First Peter five, eight says, your enemy, the devil prow around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He steals, he kills. He destroys what he snatches away. And you guys, he doesn't even try that hard. That's that part. He's a bird. He's being described as a bird plucking the seed off of the ground. It's that easy just, and that's what's shocking is that we need to be on guard. Not like a spooky, like always be on guard, but let that seed take root. So I number two is rocky soil. 

As for what was shown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet such a person has no root but endures only for a while. And when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. This soil is a little bit softer, but it's still hard soil. When seed is planted in shallow soil, it will often start growing. You see some signs of life, but that life is very short lived. This soil is simply not deep enough to sustain life. There's not enough water for the plant. So eventually the sun will scorch out all the life. This seed represents a person who was initially, initially very enthusiastic. They went to a revival. They went to a church camp. They heard a great sermon. Their heart was kind of like, okay, I can do this. I get this, I get this life. But their roots never went. Deep life happened. Friends happened. Someone questioned you really believe Jesus rose after three days, you really believe that job never lost his faith. You really believe this. You really believe in the Holy Spirit. And that person gets stuck. They get busy. They don't have time to really let their faith get below the surface to that rich, rich soil. 

Similarly to plants, Christians need deep roots that continually grow and refresh their faith. Rocky soil for a person would understand the word of God, but also love. The world has a desire for Jesus, but has no desire to read the Bible, no desire to pray, no desire to have community. So as soon as hardships happen, they not only blame God, but they completely walk away. The valleys in their life kill the seed because there is no root. And I put in valleys because the hills, in the valleys, we hear about it, we sing about it, we know about it. We've all experienced it. And it's not so much the valley in staying in the valley, but when you are in the valley are your roots. Deep. Colossians to verse seven, cause us to be rooted in Christ. And again, Paul writes in Ephesians for us to be rooted in Christ as well. When Jesus was tempted in Matthew four, Jesus did not waiver as he knew the word Granted, he is the word, but he knew it. He was in human flesh. He did not have did waiver. As Satan said, are you really the son of God? Then jump, are you really this? Then do that. He knew the word. It was rooted in him. He knew it. Jesus did. Same thing with job, job, 

Job. I love job. But in job was tempted over and over and over and over again. Everything was taken away from Job except his life. And instead of growing a hard heart job stood for firm on the word of God. When we have trials, do we have verses in our hearts that we can go to? Do we know in our, I say in our my knower, do we know in our knower that we know that God is good and that it is a valley? In Luke, there's this beautiful passage about Mary. This is right after Jesus was born and it goes when they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherd said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Mary needed this faith. Mary needed to always remember who Jesus was. She needed her faith and belief to hold onto for when she would see her son dying on the cross. She did not waiver. She needed to know that that son on that cross is the same son who they came and they worshiped. Do we know that that same Jesus that died on the cross is here holding onto that faith, holding standing firm 

Soil number three, kind of working on segways still to work on soil. Number three, thorns As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choked the word and it yields nothing. When you have fertile soil, fertile soil, it's not just the good seeds that will take group, but also thorns. Thorns will take advantage of the soil. When that happens, they will eventually choke out the good seed. The young seed cannot survive the onslaught of the thorns. This seed represents those that may look good on the outside, but have let sin creep on the inside. Although they might say that Jesus is Lord, their lives tell a completely different story. They haven't fully turned their lives over to him. And eventually that path will lead to death. And I have two pictures. The first picture is of 

We're working on it. Yes. Okay, so this is my garden at home. Very proud of it. That is very expensive. I don't know. I am not native to Texas. So everything you see here will die in about three weeks and it is not cheap. And every year I say, I'm not doing that again. I am not doing that again. Like we're doing cactus and rocks, like that's it. But I'm so proud of my garden and what I've created. And then the next one, look at this, y'all. David has spent so much time, so much energy, so much money on making sure that our grass is beautiful. And it is. It's beautiful. You done good, babe? Our grass is gorgeous, but there is this brown spot in our backyard and during the winter, I know my flowers are going to die. I know my flowers are going to wither away because they're only seasonal. 

I did not know that there was perennials and annuals learn that this year. But I know it's going to happen. I know they're going to die and it will bring new life next year. This grass, during the winter, it all looks brown. Every grass dies in the winter here in Texas. But when it becomes spring, when it becomes summer, new life forms and something is underneath this grass. When we built our house, we got to choose everything inside of our house, the floors, the tile, the cabinet color, carpet, color. We got to choose everything. But what we didn't get to choose is how they did our grass, how they did our yard. So there is something underneath there. David's going to do a test. You can get a steak and put it in and you'll hear a clunk and it's some sort of building material is underneath there. But in the winter you can't tell it's all dead. It's all the same color. But once life starts to bloom, you can tell that there is a dark spot. Something's not right. Something is hidden underneath. The heart is crowded with thorns. The heart is filled with earthly affluence and not the kingdom influence. So what worries and cares are crowding out the word of God in your heart? 

I have more than one and it's that continual getting past, getting through it, not through it like I'm in. I just need to work a little bit harder. But reading the Bible, reading the word, praying it, taking time away to find rest, that's where it's at. 

Okay. The good soil. And you guys can see the sewer, the good soil bearing, fruit of abundance. Verse 23. But as for what was sewn on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred fold and another 60 and then another 30. When seed find good fertile soil, they sprout to life and produce an abundant crop yielding a hundred fold, which is huge and certainly this would've grabbed the attention of Jesus'. Listeners getting such a big return was what they wanted was what their whole job was about. The soil represents those who hear the gospel and follow Jesus. Their roots go deep and they can sustain the hardships of life. They have guarded their hearts to ensure that no thorns can choke out their, they're primed and they're ready to go. 

Thinking back to the beginning of the parable, Jesus is speaking to an agricultural society. To produce such a large crop as he's describing, would've been mind boggling to the crowd. And Jesus knew that Jesus was part of their world. Even though he was a carpenter by trade, he knew about the agricultural life in order to survive. If you didn't farm, you didn't eat. So the imagery of this parable of sewing seeds would've been very familiar to Jesus's audience. He makes it real. He makes it tangible. He makes it in a way that we can grasp and understand, and that's intentional. Jesus is using something they understood to explain to them something that was foreign. Parables are tricky. So the fact that not only did he use a pair, he used tangible things to make it understand for them to understand. 

Now we're going to talk about the sewer. Y'all. This is one part of the parable that I didn't touch on yet about who the sower is because to me it's so beautiful the sower of who the sower is. The sower, as you can tell, is you can see in here, he has this bag draped across him, and it's just filled with seeds. The sower sowed so grandly, almost carelessly as he did not care where the seeds fell. His job, his purpose, his mission alone was to throw seed. As he went into his satchel with a handful of seeds, he knew that yes, some would fall on the path, some would land on rocky soil, some on thorns, but some would land on good soil. Our sower is Jesus Christ. He is the farmer that sows so generously. He gives every kind of soil and opportunity to take root rocky soil. 

Yeah, it's slim that crops are going to come out of rocky soil, but does that stop him? No. He still sows so generously. He extends his grace in the gospel to everyone. Even those that he knows will reject it. He gives himself to them anyways in hopes that their heart will cultivate over time and experience the life he came to give. He came to share the word and he poured himself out to us. Those that are hurt, those that have been trampled on, those that view the world as the end. All those are those myself that's conflicted with the world. Verse the word. He continues to throw seeds on crops that yield a hundred fold year after year. He does not stop, and good soil doesn't happen overnight. You can go to the store and buy a bag of good, organic, a hundred percent newer, whatever good soil is. I have not figured it out yet because all my flowers die. But it takes years to cultivate. It must be fed. It must be nurtured by the remains of plants that have come and gone. It must be worked and reworked but not overworked, that it becomes hard and breaks down its structure. It must be replenished as seeds grow and draw from its nutrients. All of this takes time. 

It takes time to cultivate your heart. It takes time to listen to the gospel. It takes time to believe, but we don't do it alone. In Isaiah 55, it says, for as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, 

Making it bring forth and sprout giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes from my mouth. It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in. The thing for which I sent it for you shall go out and be led back in peace. The mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field clap their hands instead of the thorn shall come up. The Cyprus instead of the briar, shall come up the myrtle and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Once the sower has laid out the seeds, rain comes down and it waters the earth. When you think of water, there's a lot of passages in the Bible that deal with water. John chapter seven says, let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. When we proclaim the word of the Lord, that is the water. Let's talk about water. 

I'm good. 

That is water that is watering the seeds. When you come up next to, when you come up beside someone and say, Hey, I've seen you. I haven't seen you at church. Let's talk about it. Hey, I haven't seen you. Oh, let's talk about your brother who doesn't believe in Jesus yet? Let's talk about your parents' divorce. When you come up besides somebody and talk to them, that is you watering the seed. That's you giving that soil nutrients. That is you helping grow the harvest and turning lives to Jesus, being there, us helping cultivate soil. Psalms 65, 9 says, you visit the earth in water, it, you greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water. You provide the people with grain, so you have prepared it. Your water it, you water. Its furrows, abundantly settling. Its ridges, softening it with showers and blessing its growth. 

You cram the year with your bounty. Your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow. The hills gid themselves with joy. The meadows clothe themselves with flocks. The valleys deck themselves with grain. They shout and sing together for joy. Church let us go out and enjoy and be sowers of the gospel. Joy is the result of hard work, and we know the end story. We know that Jesus Christ is alive and that he is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. The bounty is abundant. We can help water. We can be sowers, we can be the seed, we can be the soil. God gives us everything that we need. It's us opening up and listening to the gospel. And I understand famine. I know famine will happen. It is inevitable as the Bible has proven famine happens. But keeping that word cultivated, keeping that word in your heart, excuse me, we'll still produce bounty. Seven years of famine, seven years of abundance. Jesus is good. Jesus knows. So as I close this up, let's now feast at his table of glory and prepare our hearts for communion. Okay?