“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
- When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
- As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
- As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
- As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” [Matthew 18:18-23 ESV]
I thought that it might be good to frame Jesus' explanation of the parable in a bulleted fashion. He explains to us that there are four different types of hearts. My thoughts about each type:
- The Hard Heart: The seed never penetrates the soil because the path has been walked on and packed down. This speaks to me about how sometimes life experiences can harden a heart towards God and the religious experiences.
- The Shallow Heart: The seed grows and quickly dies before emerging. I know of many that have fallen away when life gets hard. I think that if they would have looked past their pain things might have been different. Even so, I hope for healing for ones like these.
- The Strangled Heart: The seed grows and emerges but bears no fruit. We choke out our spiritual life when our focus is on material things and worldly aspirations. Pride will always strangle our heart because it favors the brain over it.
- The Persevering Heart: Fruit doesn’t come immediately but with time. Reminds me that Jesus tells us that following him involves denying our self and picking up our cross. Humility will cause us to persevere and trust God. Spiritual fruit will come as we wait.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.