Saturday, January 1, 2011

Parable of the Soils

Luke 8:4-15

Why did Jesus tell this parable? Jesus uses this parable to encourage his disciples that not all will believe and there will be many false professors. We are not to be discouraged by the small harvest. The fault is not with the sower if he is sowing. The fault does not lie with the Seed. The problem is with the soil.

In our text we see 3 components of the parable of the soils- the Sower, the seed, and the soils. Jesus teaches the disciples and us that there are different responses to the gospel [v. 1].

1. The Sower [v. 5a].

The Sower is Jesus Christ, but also represents any of God’s people who share the Word of God.

John 4:35-38 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

To sow means “to scatter or broadcast.” Note that the Sower “went out” to sow. Note also that he purposed to sow. Note the phrase “some fell.” Evangelism is done outside the church building with “as you go’ witnessing” and no special targeting of a certain kind of people.

2. The Seed [v. 5b].

The seed is the Word of God that imparts spiritual life and produces spiritual fruit. The seed must be planted before it can give an increase. When a person hears and understands the Word, then the seed is planted in the heart. What happens then depends on the nature of the heart.

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

3. The Soils [vv. 5c-8, 11-15].

The seed must have the soil and the soil must have the seed. The soil is the human heart. The fertile heart can hear the gospel, understand and believe the gospel, and produce a spiritual harvest.

Jesus described 4 different kinds of hearts or responses to the gospel. Three of the four hearts did not bear any fruit. The proof of salvation is fruit and not merely hearing or making a profession.

A. The Hard Heart [vv. 5, 12]. “wayside”

This soil represents the person who hears the Word but immediately the devil snatches the seed away.

How did the heart become hard? The “wayside” was the path that run thru a common field, separating the plots; and the foot traffic hardened the soil. The heart had been hardened by the things of the world- pride of life, lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes.

Hard heart with no conviction, self- satisfied and self sufficient.
Unconcern about spiritual matters. Calloused or stiff-necked heart.

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

B. The Shallow Heart [vv. 6, 13]. “rock or stony”

This soil represents the emotional hearer who responds initially with joy, but does not continue because there is no root. Shallow evangelism is a breeding ground to shallow heart. There is no conviction of sin, repentance, or dying to self, no commitment.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

“for a while believe” when testing and persecution come because of the word, it withers away. The shallowness of the false Christian is exposed.

Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

C. The Crowded Heart [vv. 7, 14].

This soil represents the person who does not repent and “weed out” the things that hinder the harvest. The cares, riches, and pleasures of this life choke it out from bearing fruit. Heart is infested with thorns, and cares and riches choke it out. Never able to take root. Preoccupied with problems, prestige, power, position and possessions.

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

D. The Good Heart [vv. 8, 15].

This soil represents the person who hears, understands, receives, and believes the word to bear fruit. This person is truly saved and bears fruit.

What makes good soil? Heart prepared by the Spirit of God. (John 16:8-11).

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.