Jesus speaks to his disciples in the gospel of Matthew about various types of seed that a sower scattered. Seeds were scattered along the path, along rocky soil, amongst thorns, and on top of good soil. These seeds can be connected to the different ways in which a person may receive the gospel message.
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path (Matthew 13:19)”
Many times, people may hear the gospel message, but they do not understand it. They are in the right place to receive the message, but unless it can sink in for them, it can easily be snatched away.
“The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the one who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, it lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away (Matthew 13:20-21)”
At other times, a person may be able to take hold of the gospel message, receiving it eagerly at the beginning with great joy. However, without a strong root or foundation, they too may find themselves falling away when hardships or challenges arise.
“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful (Matthew 13:22)”
Another component when it comes to hearing the gospel message is to allow that to be the center. When the cares of the world or the worries and doubts that arise in us become the center, the gospel message can easily be choked out and lost.
“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the person who hears the word and understands it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. (Matthew 13:23)”
In the end, we all desire to be the one who receives the gospel message, understands it well, and can live it out producing a fruitful harvest. However, is it wrong to be people who sometimes reflect the seeds sown on the path, on rocky ground, or in the thorns? I believe we all have those moments throughout our lives. After all, we are human.
The good news is that whether we represent the seeds on the path, the rocky soil, in the thorns, or within good soil, God continues to pour out God’s word to us. Through Jesus Christ, the failures and sin which have separated us from God – the good soil – have been washed clean. We are a new creation in Christ and with each day, we can receive again the promise of the gospel. May we not give up seeking this gospel message. May we trust that God will use this message to reach us and allow us to share it with others.
Blessings Pastor Arlyn><>