The Parable of the Four Soils
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 140; Matthew 13
Today’s Key Passage –Matthew 13:1-23
Jesus often spoke to people using parables, and in today’s key passage, He told the parable of the four soils. Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Vss. 3-8) After being questioned by the disciples, Jesus went on to explain this parable by saying, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Vss. 19-23)
Every time I read this parable, I feel encouraged by its message. As we go out into this world to “sow the seeds” of God’s Word to others, often we can be tempted to feel discouraged when we are not successful in bringing someone to Christ. As we attempt to reach other people with God’s message, we will often find those whose hearts are like the path, the rocky soil, or the thorns, but we will also find those whose hearts are like the good soil. While we cannot control the condition of other people’s hearts, we can control two variables – the seed and the scattering. We can control the seed by making sure we are only teaching Biblical Christianity, and we can control the scattering by ensuring we are broadcasting God’s message to as many people as possible. What happens to the seed and whether or not it takes root and produces a crop is really up to the Holy Spirit. In addition, we can feel encouraged by the fact that the “soil” of people’s hearts can change over time. While my own heart was once like the path, over time it became good soil as God’s Spirit moved me. Do not ever be discouraged as you are sowing God’s seeds. As long as you are doing your part, you will find good soil, and when you do the yield of that crop will be amazing.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.