April 28, 2023
Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Mark 4:13-20 NLT
This is the first parable Mark records in the ministry of Jesus. We know from the other gospels Jesus often taught the people in the form of parables. A parable is a story about something common that has a spiritual application. Jesus tells them this parable is the key to understanding all His teachings. That means we should get this one down well. The story is about a farmer who goes out to sow seed in his field. In those days there were no tractors, a farmer would simply walk the field and throw out seed by hand. The wind would blow the seed and it would land in different types of soil. There were four types of soil—the footpath, the rocky soil, the soil with thorns, and the good soil. The seed was the same—it represented the Word of God. The soil represented people and the way they received the Word. Some people have very hard hearts and before the seed even has time to take root Satan comes and takes away the power of the Word to transform their lives. Others hear the Word and receive it into their lives but underneath the surface are rocks that keep the soil from gaining any solid root system. When trouble comes the young plants die off because they don’t have strong enough roots to survive the tough times. Many people get excited when they first hear God’s Word of grace and forgiveness, but they don’t become students of the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to remove from their lives the things that will hinder the Word. The “rocks” of their past lives will keep the Word from taking root. Unless the rocks are removed the person can’t grow to be the man or woman of God, He intends for them. Then there are those who hear the Word and it begins to develop roots and grow, but there are habits and desires of the flesh that grow at the same time. These are the thorns that choke out the effectiveness of the Word. We must allow the Holy Spirit to constantly be pulling out the weeds in our lives. Our desire is to be the fourth kind of soil, the soil that hears the Word and produces fruit. Fruit that impacts our lives and the lives of others. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word can plow up the hard ground of our hearts. God’s Word can reveal the rocks of our past that need to be removed. God’s Word can reveal the habits and desires that are wrong and impacting our spiritual growth. We must combine the Word of God with the Spirit of God to grow into the children of God. Let’s decide today we will become fruit producing students of the Word.
Holy Spirit, I need You to be my teacher. Show me through the Word what adjustments I need to make to my life. Help me to live fully for You and see Your fruit produced in my life.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”