Jesus told a parable of a sower which taught how different people will respond to the gospel message. As we share the gospel with others, we must be mindful of the reasons why some people don’t get it.
4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
The Point of Parables (Mark 4:1-13)
- The parables of Jesus were memorable stories intended to provoke Kingdom learning and living.
- Jesus’ teaching required the hearers to possess spiritual openness and mental diligence.
- The same teaching of Jesus can cause the repentant to receive more and the rebellious to resist more.
The Point of This Parable (Mark 4:14-20)
- The Deceived (Mark 4:15)
- The seed on the path represents a deceived person whom Satan continually hinders.
- A person who is close-minded and hard-hearted struggles to accept biblical truth.
- The Shallow (Mark 4:16-17)
- The seed on the rocky ground represents a shallow person who fails to establish roots with which to grow.
- A person who doesn’t establish roots will be unable to withstand hard seasons as a believer.
- The Distracted (Mark 4:18-19)
- The seed among the thorns represents a distracted person who gets caught up by the world.
- The world and the Word can’t both possess your affections at the same time.
- The Fruitful (Mark 4:20)
- The seed among the good soil represents a fruitful person who hears, accepts, and shares the Word.
- The health of your devotion can be determined by the fruit of your ministry.
Which description best summarizes your spiritual life over the last 6 months?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.