Jesus often used parables in his teaching, which were simple short stories that would have been familiar to the people he was addressing, to explain and illustrate a spiritual truth he wanted to convey to them. Since I’m a simple guy, parables are right in my wheelhouse. This particular parable is used to depict the responsiveness of unbelievers to God’s message of salvation. Some will flat out reject it, some will accept it and do nothing with it, some will believe but don’t persevere for various reasons, and finally there are those who grow, mature, produce fruit and finish the race.
But is there also an application to believers with this parable in how we respond when hearing from God? How might we relate these soils to our heart when God speaks?
Mark Twain once said, “The parts of the Bible that give me trouble are not the ones I do not understand but rather those I do understand”.
James 1: 22-25 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
It is easy to deceive ourselves when we hear a message or read a book or even read the very words of Christ and think that we are fruitful soil. Next time you read the Word or hear the Word preached forth, take time to consider whether you are truly a “doer” and not just someone who hears.
Oh Lord, help us as we move forward as Rock of Hope to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Amen.