Hearing and Understanding the Word

KEY VERSE: “He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” —Matthew 13:23

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

OUR LORD’S PARABLE of the sower relates how a man went out to sow his field. As he scattered his seed, some fell on one kind of soil and some on another: some on thorny ground; some on stony ground; some on the hard-beaten pathway; and some on good ground. It was the good ground that brought forth some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some one hundredfold.

According to the Master’s interpretation of this parable, the ‘good seed’ represents the message of the kingdom which, as it falls here and there, appeals to the hearts of hearers differently. That seed falling upon the ‘beaten pathway’ represented the message as heard by persons whose hearts did not respond. They simply heard with the ‘outer’ ear, and then forgot what they had heard. The Lord said the reason for this was that the Adversary came and caught the seed away. Conditions were not favorable for its entrance into the heart. The wiles of the Adversary will endeavor to prevent the seed from entering the heart and taking root.

Among those who do receive the truth are those of the ‘stony ground’ class. These are at first enthused, but they lack depth of character. They do not bring forth fruitage, for they do not have sufficient depth for rooting. They are shallow, and when they find out that the truth is not popular, their love cools and their interest in the Gospel message gradually dies out. They are like a seed planted in shallow soil, which comes up and flourishes for a little while, but when the hot sun comes out, it withers away, not having much root.

The heart that is like the soil where the seed fell among thorns, was good ground, and had fine prospects for developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit. However, being infested with thorns which were not removed, the message of the kingdom and its work are crowded out to a large degree. Thus, no fruit is brought to perfection.

We then come to the ‘good ground’ class of this parable. This ground is where the soil is not only good, but is cleared of all noxious weeds which prevent the proper growth of the seed. This condition represents entire consecration of the individual to God. Everything which would hinder has been cast out. The cares of this life are not permitted to enter this heart or choke the Word. Such an one has the proper quality or depth of character.

Among those of this class there are not many noble, not many great, not many learned or wise (I Cor. 1:26), but they must all be good of heart, else they could not bring forth the necessary fruitage. They are in the right heart condition to bring forth their very best—some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundredfold.

In this parable, we see the Word of truth is represented by the seed, and the hearts of individuals are represented by the soil. The thought is that when a grain of truth is planted in a good and honest heart, this in turn produces a character that is in harmony with God, and brings forth the desired fruitage, which, in turn, heralds forth the grand and wonderful message of the coming kingdom of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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