[This blog is a bit longer than usual but I thought it was too important to break up into two blogs – enjoy!]
Mark 4:2-20 (KJV) Read all.
Mark 4:2-3 (KJV) 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Mark 4:14 (KJV) 14 The sower soweth the word.
Mark 4:11-13 (KJV) 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
Jesus taught many lessons using parables because His teachings for were for those who believed, not for the heathen. It was as if His teachings were in “God code” and not for everyone. Oh, sure, He could have explained thing in detail so that the simplest mind could understand without any effort. But as I’ve always said, with God everything is a heart issue. Everything we get from God is by the access door of faith.
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
From my observation over the years, it seems that many people want the blessing God has but they don’t want Him and His way of getting them. It just doesn’t work that way.
It’s like your children wanting the blessings of their grandparents, who overindulge them, but don’t want their discipline! Now, that’s something that touches home!
So, let’s get into the parable of the sower and find out why Jesus said that you have to understand this parable if you’re going to understand the rest of them. [Please read the entire passage of Mark 4:2-20.]
Let’s start with verse 14 where we find the sower sowing the seed, which is the Word of God. The sower is anyone who is sowing the seed of God’s Word, even you. And the soil is the ground of your heart.
Mark 4:15 (KJV) 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Matthew 13:19 (KJV) 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
The seed is sown into the first type of soil which is hard wayside soil that everyone has walked or driven on and it’s hard as a rock, thus giving the seed no chance of germinating.
This type of heart is the one that hears the Word of God and receives it but doesn’t understand it and it never does germinate. In this type the devil comes immediately and steals the Word from you. Matthew points this out in his narrative of the sower sows the Word. The Word was sown and the person heard it but with no understanding, it got stolen immediately.
The second type of soil is found in Mark 4:16 is stony ground.
Mark 4:16-17 (KJV) 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Notice that the Word was received with gladness. They were so excited to hear the truth of God’s Word and received it, but what happened? They stood strong for a while but didn’t continue to “water the Word” so that roots would grow. [You water the word with the Word. Just keep putting it into your heart and it will grow.]
They didn’t water the Word so that when afflictions and persecutions came against them, they caved in and became offended. You see, when you’re taking a stand on God’s Word and other people begin to mock you or say that it won’t work, this is persecution for the Word’s sake and it will cause you to take offense. That’s bad! And here’s why:
The word offense is a Greek Word the means a trap—like a trap that’s set to catch an animal. That’s what the devil is doing when he sets you up to be offended. He’s setting a trap for you and hoping you take the bait. His whole plan is to get you “off the Word” and back to carnality – in the flesh where you’re ruled by your five physical senses instead of God’s Word. If he can get you into unforgiveness, strife, and holding a grudge, he’s got you.
So, what do you do? First of all, don’t succumb to the enemy’s wiles of deceit and offense. Forgive those who have come against you and the Word and move on from there. Guard the Word and your heart with everything you have, otherwise you forfeit your faith.
Mark 4:18-19 (KJV) 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
This third type of heart refers to those who actually hear the Word and most likely receive it joyfully but as time goes on, life gets in the way and distracts them from what God has said and they lose heart and get discouraged.
Distractions can be deadly in keeping the Word active in your heart: being too busy to spend time in the Word or prayer, being caught up in your daily routine or job or relaxing – TV, sports, hobbies, or even being overly concerned about things you can’t control! These can end up taking too much of your focus away from God’s Word that His Word gets displaced with the wrong things. [Check out my blog on “The Displacement Principle.”]
Luke 21:34 (KJV) 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Notice the word – surfeiting. It means clutter. We can get cluttered with so many things that we lose our focus on God’s Word and things start going south. I even have an index card on my kitchen table that says “Don’t be distracted!” I have to constantly remind myself not to let distractions steal my focus.
The word choke in Mark 4:19 means to strangle completely, suffocate. That’s the plan of the enemy – to keep you so distracted the Word can’t get sufficiently rooted in you and produce fruit.
Which brings us to the last type of soil – the good ground that actually produces fruit – thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
Mark 4:20 (KJV) 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
These people hear the Word, receive it, keep watering it, and eventually bring forth fruit. And to the degree they get the Word rooted in their hearts determines the result of their harvest. This principle works in every area of your life.
Be a fruit-producing vessel for God and show forth His goodness! Praise the Lord of Glory!
Mark 4:19 (AMP) 19 Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
Luke 21:34 (AMP) 34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;