Jesus often explained the mysteries of God in little stories called parables. The parable in Matthew 13:1-9 explains why not everyone became a Christian after hearing the Word of God.
In this story, a farmer (God) goes out scattering seeds everywhere in order to grow his crop. If there was a problem, it was not the farmer or his seeds. The problem was in the ground receiving the seeds. Jesus speaks of four types of ground (people) in this parable.
The first type person is compared to the ground between rows. People walking on it pack it down. The seeds merely sit on top of it until the birds come and steal them away. He may have been referring to the closed minds of the Jewish leaders who had their belief system in place, which did not include a carpenter’s son named Jesus, or a gospel proclaiming love and grace. The idea that God was doing a new thing was unacceptable to them. A living God does new things, but sadly, if our minds are closed, we miss them.
Jesus compares some people to seed falling on rocky soil. It has no deep root system, so it springs up quickly and disappears the same way. They are bandwagon Christians who profess Christ because everyone else is doing it. Some have revival religion. They get hot for God during the revival, but when the revival disappears, they do too.
Jesus compares some who hear the Word of God to thorny ground. The ground cannot grow two crops at the same time, and neither can we serve two masters. One crop will crowd out the other. Sadly, “money” is the god of our world. It crowds out all else, including God.
We are thankful that this parable is not completely a sad one. Jesus compares some people to good ground. When the seed falls, they take it in, keep it, and care for it. Given time and cultivation, the crop will come, and multiply thirty times, sixty times, or even a hundred times. The abundant glorious harvest will make the losses insignificant.
Jesus speaks of four types of people. Which are you?
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com