What about the Soil?

October 19, 2008

Introduction

 

            The thirteenth chapter of Matthew is a chapter dealing with different parables.  In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the chapter of parables.  Just after He gives the first parable, we find these statements:  (Mat 13:10-11 NKJV)  “And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" {11} He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”

 

            As the chapter begins, it begins with the parable of the sower, or as some would rather call it, the parable of the soils.  (Mat 13:3-9 NKJV)  Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. {4} "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. {5} "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. {6} "But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. {7} "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. {8} "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. {9} "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

 

            So there are four kinds of soil.  What do they mean for us and those with whom we work?  I’m thankful that Jesus gave a basic explanation of what the different soils meant.

 

Body

 

I.        He begins with the wayside soil.

 

A.     There is the basic statement.

 

(Matthew 13:4 NKJV} "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

 

B.     Jesus gives an explanation.

 

(Mat 13:18-19 NKJV)  "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: {19} "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

 

1.      The first question is, am I the wayside soil?

2.      Probably none of us here this morning fit that category.

 

a.       These are people who apparently do not even seriously think about the meaning of the gospel message.

b.      One Greek dictionary says the word translated “understand” could be translated “consider.”

c.       Those who fall in this category are most likely not here this morning.

 

3.      The big question:  What if anything can we do to help these people?

 

II.     Next He comes to the soil on the stony ground.

 

A.     There is the basic statement.

 

(Mat 13:5-6 NKJV)  "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. {6} "But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

 

B.     Jesus gives an explanation.

 

(Mat 13:20-21 NKJV)  "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; {21} "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

 

1.      The first question is, am I the “stony place” soil?

2.      You could be here this morning and fit this category.

3.      What is the meaning of “tribulation”?

θλίψις

thlipsis

Thayer Definition:

1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure

2) metaphorically oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

 

4.      What is distress?  Couldn’t that be a lot of things?

 

a.       Long hours at work, and I’m just too tired to get involved with the church.

b.      Maybe I’m too stressed over house work, or taking care of the kids.

c.       We now have a category that may affect many of us.

d.      It may affect many who we are trying to bring to Christ.

 

III.   Next He comes to the soil with the weeds.

 

A.     There is the basic statement.

 

(Mat 13:7 NKJV)  "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

 

B.     Jesus gives an explanation.

 

(Mat 13:22 NKJV)  "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

 

1.      This one I find to be the most challenging of all for many of us.

2.      It is all too easy to become too busy and leave God out of our lives.

 

IV.  Finally, there is what we should be—the good soil.

 

A.     There is the basic statement.

 

(Mat 13:8 NKJV)  "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

 

B.     Jesus gives an explanation.

 

(Mat 13:23 NKJV)  "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

 

1.      The question again, am I the “good” soil?  Am I producing?

2.      Does it matter if I am productive?

 

(John 15:1-2 NKJV)  "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. {2} "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

 

3.      It determines our eternity.

 

(John 15:6 NKJV)  "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

 

(John 15:8 NKJV)  "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 

4.      Am I producing the fruit of the Spirit?

 

(Gal 5:22-24 NKJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. {24} And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

Conclusion

 

I.  Are you a fruitful Christian?

 

II. Are you a Christian at all?

 

Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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