He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”
“Consider then the parable of the farmer. Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path. As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. As for the seed that was spread among thorny plants, this refers to those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth choke the word, and it bears no fruit. As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one” (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 – Common English Bible).
This week we are focusing on “The Parable of the Seeds.” Monday we began this subgroup of our Matthew devotionals by talking about farmers spreading seeds. We specifically talked about how when using a broadcasting method (the most likely method of spreading seeds during the Biblical era) most of the seed will end up in the places you want, but some will end up in the wrong places. The end result is usually a waste but sometimes God is at work in the end result.
Tuesday we talked about the seed that landed on the path and how the birds would come and eat the seed. Still, even though the birds eat the seed, at least you are feeding the birds.
Next in our lesson, Jesus talks about the seed that falls in the rocky area. The lesson says that because the soil isn’t deep it sprouts quickly but just as quickly wilts away when the sun comes out and the plant experiences the heat of the day.
Our fourth lesson from this parable tells us that some of the seed fell among the thorny plants and was choked out. Jesus says this refers to the those who hear the Word but get caught up in life’s hustle and bustle. They worry money to the point that it is their primary focus and as a result, the Word becomes choked out in their lives.
I don’t know a lot about gardening and yard work. To be brutally honest, I am not particularly interested in learning it either. I have always disliked yard work. It is not my thing. I have cut the grass many times in my life. I have pulled the weeds from many flowerbeds. I have even watered and a couple of times fertilized the grass.
While I don’t know a great deal about the science of having a lawn, one thing I picked up along the way is, if you have weeds growing in your yard, the best way to eliminate them is to choke them out with healthy grass. You fertilize your grass so it becomes really healthy and it will choke out the weeds.
Jesus is saying, in essence, the opposite is true as well. If the thorny plants are healthy and the other plants are not, the thorny plants can choke them out.
The same can be true for us. If we don’t keep ourselves healthy through prayer and personal Bible study, the world can choke us out. We can become so overwhelmed with the world and the things of the world that we become consumed by other things rather than being focused on the things of God. Whatever you feed will choke out what lacks health in your life. If we want to have a healthy spiritual life, we must feed that life. If we feed the worldly life, we will always be consumed first and foremost with the things of the world, including money. What we have will never be enough because we have choked out the blessings of a spiritual life.
What things are threatening to choke out the things of the spirit in your life?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved