Word Seed

Matthew 13: 19

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.

This is from the Parable of the Sower. Jesus told the Parable of the Sower to the crowd but later explained it when his disciples questioned him about it. Although foundational, it is important we understand this parable and its implications for each of us. We know the Word has power. It is equally true, though, that few of us are living in the power that Jesus walked in. We have the same Word as he, even more than he had. So where is the problem?

The beginning point is here, “The sower sows the word,” (Mark 4: 14). Jesus is talking about the Word being sown. The first example is seed which falls on the side of the road. Immediately, birds came and ate the seed. Jesus used this parable to explain about people. He sowed the seed of the Word to many people. The first group of people he compares to seed which fell at the side of the road and was quickly gobbled up. It never even took root. Before it could ever be watered the fowl of the air consumed it.

Don’t forget, Jesus is talking about the variety of people he gave his words to. The first group are these upon whom the seed of God’s Word had absolutely no impact. Jesus gave them God’s Word; His wisdom and revelation, but the evil one immediately and successfully stole it from them. Jesus said the reason the devil was able to steal the Word was because they did not understand. The soil didn’t receive the seed. In other words, these people were not prepared to hear.

The soil is our heart (Luke 8: 15). But we have hardened our hearts. We have not cultivated the soil and nourished it so when Jesus sows his seed into our heart, “immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them,” (Mark 4: 15). Jesus told the disciples that Isaiah foretold this:

You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’
Matthew 13: 14 – 15

One may say, this has only to do with new believers and the evangelical message but I tell you, though often and routinely applied in that context, this is not the case. Isaiah called to Jews. He urged them to turn their hearts back to God, to soften their hearts, open their eyes and ears and receive understanding in their hearts. This is exactly the message that Jesus spoke that day and indeed, is speaking even until today. If you, dear reader, have ears to hear, receive what the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to you today.

Jesus explained that the Word he spoke to his people was quickly stolen by Satan because they lacked understanding. Then, quoting Isaiah, he said they lacked understanding because the hearts of the people become dull. They, we, don’t see and don’t hear because our hearts have become numb to the Word and, truly, even to Jesus. What was once good soil is no longer. Because we fail to prepare the soil of our heart, the Word of God preached to us takes no root. We are blind and deaf to what the Spirit of God is saying to us.

This is so tragic. As I type these words, my heart grieves. Jesus knew this would happen, yet it grieves him no less. His people, those who he preached to when he walked the earth and us, all of us who call him Lord, have turned away. We give him deaf ears and blind eyes. We give him hearts of stone and arrogance. Who shall turn to him with humility and hunger? Who shall receive the word he is preaching in the earth today? Do you hear the cries of those who say, “I don’t understand” as you watch the Word stolen immediately from them? Does your heart grieve too! Pray God will remove our hard hearts and restore us to Him in all humility, with a devout hunger for Him and His Word.

Jesus, Your Brother

Luke 8: 21                  NIV

He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

Jesus taught how we can be one of his relations, or part of his family.  It is a two-step process.  First we must hear God’s word.  Second, we must put it into practice.  His brother James was listening.  James later wrote, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers, who delude themselves” (James 1: 22).  He said we are supposed to “receive the word implanted” (v. 21).

First we must each ask ourselves, “Do we want to be close with Jesus, even as close as a brother?”  Secondly, “What are we willing to do in order to achieve that personal closeness with him?”  Frankly, not everyone is willing to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus.  That’s okay, it is a personal choice but for those who do crave intimacy with the Lord Jesus he has shown the way. 

Jesus put an emphasis on God’s word.  He told us we must put ourselves in a position to hear God’s word.  Bear in mind they didn’t have the written word in abundance like we do today.  We can “hear” the word in many ways.  One of those ways, I would suggest, is in reading it for ourselves.  Furthermore, there is an incredible amount of free teaching available on television, radio and the internet.  Many ministers even allow people to download this content to their own device.  I find that remarkable.  What other profession gives away their work product for free?  We can hear great messages every single day. 

Brother James teaches us that we are to receive this word implanted.  When you hear the word, you must then receive it.  Just hearing someone speak the Word of the God won’t do a thing for you if you don’t receive it.  I believe James is telling us to plant the Word of God in our hearts.  This principle is well taught by Jesus in Luke 8: 15 where the sower sows the word to our hearts.  There are quite a few scriptures that speak about the relationship between God’s Word and our hearts.  Look at Deuteronomy 6:6 for example, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”  This is our starting place then.  We can’t do God’s Word if we do not first hear it and in that hearing receive it into our hearts.  This is not a brain game.  It is a matter of the heart.  What, then, is the condition of your heart?  Is it the good soil that Jesus speaks about in Luke 8 or is it hard like the stony ground?

Fellowship with Jesus begins with God’s Word.  Perhaps hearing that thrills you.  I hope so.  Maybe, though, you are one of those who does not want to give time and place to the Word of God.  I am very sorry because there is no getting around this one.  No amount of intellectualization, even, is going to provide an argument that supports that position.  We must all come to a place in our lives where we are willing to let Jesus be the absolute Lord of our lives and do, therefore, what he says.  Either he is Lord of our lives or he is not but if he is then we should follow his instructions and his teachings.  He came to give us abundant life.  That is all he is trying to do with his instruction.  He is trying to bless us but in order for us to receive the greatest of gifts we are going to have to taste humility.

As you turn your face to Jesus, soften your heart and receive his word implanted therein.  Then we can talk about putting it into practice.  Then we probably won’t have to.