Monday, November 29, 2021

The Parable of the Sower

 Mark 4:1-20 with Matt. 13 and Luke 8

Mark 4:1-2 - parable - a story designed to teach, illustrate a spiritual truth; short, catchy, memorable (and often a bit of a a riddle), a comparing something we know (soil/seed) to explain something we don't know or aren't familiar with;  ie: (spiritual growth/ spiritual productivity)

this parable = longer than most and includes explanation found in Matt., Mark, Luke  (Jesus gives the meaning)

Question:  Why use parables??
Answer = Mark 4:10-12 with Matt. 13:10-15 - quoting from Isaiah chapter 6.   Jesus doesn't heal, save, instruct people against their will.

Parables designed to:  on one hand, bring spiritual truths to light! 
While, on the other hand, veiling, concealing those same truths!!

So that those who want to know the truth will see... while those not interested will NOT see!!  Matthew Henry refers to "a dark lantern" - light to some, dark to others.
Example:  in Exodus - pillar of light .... was light to Israel and darkness to Pharaoh.   Ex. 14:19-20

So... while many were amused by the parable/stories, only a few were instructed by the same parable!!
Point = how you approach a parable will (partly) determine what you receive from that parable!! 
If you approach a parable seeking to get instruction, will tend to find it.

The Parable of the Sower/Soils ... Mark 4:2-9

The Explanation of the Parable - Mark 4:14-20

(1)  The seed is the Work of God = compare Luke 8:11
Is broadcast (available) to ALL!!!   But lands on different soils!

(2)  The seed is good.  The outcome is determined by the soil!!!!

(3)  The soil is the heart of man - Matt. 13:19   Luke 8:12
Attitude matters (a great deal in this).!!!  how you approach the parable determines the outcome.

(4)  You determine the type of soil... the condition of your heart.  Soil is determined by the individual

#1)  The hardened soil (heart) - Mark 4:15  hears word, doesn't attend to it.
Example:  attends church, stays awake ... BUT message lost in the parking lot!!!

#2).  The Shallow soil (heart) - Mark 4:16-17
"receives the Word with joy!!"  BUT any difficulty ... and "fall away"!  

#3).  The thorny soil (heart) - Mark 4:18-19   Luke 8:14
at issue is not the soil but = competition for the soil!!!  Note:  these weeds are NOT necessarily evil in themselves.
Example:  Solomon's riches, Job's possessions, Joseph's position...  When not properly handled, they choke out the Word.

#4)  The fertile soil (heart) - Mark 4;20
Especially note:  Luke 8:15 - "hear
                                          - retain
                                          - persevere
                                          - produce

following Christ is more than just perseverance!
Also = PRODUCTION!!!  are called to produce Good Works!
Example:  parable of the talents
Compare/contrast ..a  Christian hermit  (perseveres, but doesn't produce!!)  God calls us to grow the kingdom, Make a Difference.

So.... How to develop a fertile heart???
#1.  expose yourself to the Word - (ie the seed!)
This = intentional, continual exposure 

#2.  Attend to the Word
soils 1, 2, and 2 didn't reject the Word ... however, did not "attend" to it!! - "Remember!  Pay attention!  Lookout!  Be careful!

#3.  guard your heart
     The input - example:  porn, trash
     the content - anger? bitter? envy?  if feed and fertilize it?  will continue to grow!!
     the response - can't always control input and content (feelings)  but CAN control Response!! - what we do with it!!

Proverbs 4:23 -
heart determines course of your life!!    Is source of all the issues in life!

Closing Scripture:  Gal. 6:7-9

No comments: