Foundation Scriptures: Mark 4:2-8, Mark 4:14-20
It’s time to pay attention, hear and listen.
Jesus starts this parable in verse 3 with these words: Give attention to this! And ends in verse 9: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The preacher, preaching the word, is the sower of seed.
God’s word is living and powerful and gives you power and victory over the enemy.
When cultivated it produces fruit in varying degrees: fruit, more fruit and much fruit.
Unless our hearts are prepared to receive the seed of the word, we cannot grow in grace or knowledge.
The devil is the enemy of God’s word in your life and will steal it from you anyway he can.
The devil knows that the best time to destroy a tree is at its genesis—when it is young and small—before or shortly after it starts to grow and definitely before it sends its roots solidly down into the earth.
The seed of the word is the same in each case—it is the soil that makes the difference between success and failure.
YOUR heart and life is the soil.
Verse 15: The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.
These people receive the word negligently.
They hear the Word with hardhearted indifference.
They are not listening and not paying attention.
They need to hear it, but are not ready or willing to hear.
The devil has no trouble snatching the word away from them.
They walk away with nothing.
Verse 16-17: And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.
The Message Bible: And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
These people actually stop to listen.
They get really excited initially, but it is merely an emotional response, nothing more.
They have not developed any character in their life—they are very shallow.
Because their soil is shallow, the roots of the word can’t get a good grip.
They believe (endure) for a little while.
Like a hot sun, trouble (hardships) and persecution arises on account of the word.
When these people encounter pressure or difficulty, they are instantly offended—they become displeased, indignant and resentful.
They blame it on God and His Word and back off from the word.
They stumble and fall away, turning their back on God.
This outside pressure does not just make them back off it leaves them personally offended. This offence robs them of God’s blessings.
Verse 18-19: And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
The Message Bible: The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.
Notice that this soil is already full of thorns and weeds.
These people hear the word and receive it and it is able to grow up a little bit.
Unfortunately, they take their eyes off of the word—they become distracted and preoccupied with the cares and riches of this life and the word in them is choked and suffocated to death.
Instead of focusing on the answer—Jesus—they focus on the problem.
Worry, covetousness and lust are weeds that choke the Word of God in your life.
Their fruit does not ripen—the Word of God becomes unfruitful in their life.
Verse 20: And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.
The Message Bible: But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.
The good ground represents the prepared heart that receives the seed and produces fruit; produces a harvest.
These people hear the Word and embrace it—they receive it, accept it, and welcome it for themselves.
This is the only appropriate response to the Word of God—the only one that will produce any fruit.
Luke 8:15 AMP says that those with good soil hold the word fast in a just, noble, virtuous and worthy heart and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.
The Word of God is allowed to grow and keep growing in their heart and life in spite of life’s circumstances; in spite of trials and temptations.
These are genuine disciples.
They produce a harvest of good fruit in varying amounts 30, 60 or 100-fold.
How do I walk in God’s best?
Commit to personally receive and obey the Word of God.
Put your flesh under—don’t yield to fleshly desires.
Don’t believe the devil’s lies—hide the word in your heart so that you will recognize the truth.
Don’t lose your focus—know what you believe.
Don’t cave in under pressure—hang in longer than the devil.