I like how the footnotes of the Ryrie Study Bible add to the Parables and gives us further understanding of when Jesus would speak.
It reads: “A parable is a figure of speech in which a moral or spiritual truth is illustrated by an analogy drawn from everyday experiences. These parables present truths about the kingdom in this present day. These truth are called “mysteries”, because they were not revealed in the OT and they are revealed by Christ only to those who are properly related to Him (vv. 11-13).”
Just backing up a wee bit to the previous Study of the Sower. Ryrie says, “The parable teaches that there would be four different responses to the Word: no response, emotional response, worldly response and fruitful response.”
This parable takes in every single person who has ever lived, who lives today and those yet to live. You, my reader, are not exempt. This is the Word of God. It is coming right out of the mouth of our Lord Jesus, right here, right now, today and if we glide over it like it is not speaking to us then we are to be most pitied and very much a part of the burning fire that is to come. Both genuine and non-professing people will coexist in the kingdom and will be separated at the end of the age. (I have that part of the Scripture for us to study together when we are finished with these Parables.)
Let’s look at this more deeply.
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 the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.” NO RESPONSE to the Word.
13:20, 21 “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.” EMOTIONAL RESPONSE to the Word.
13:22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” WORLDLY RESPONSE to the Word.
13:23. “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” FRUITFUL RESPONSE to the Word.
Many people begin the Christian life eagerly but then abandon it because hardships, disappointments, failures enter their lives and they have no roots.
Some accept the gospel but then become complacent and this type of a person becomes useless for Kingdom work.
There are many who are in church – every Sunday, they listen and then go away and forget what they heard. That is just like some of you right now. You will read my Blog but so what!! It is soon forgotten. Jesus tells us this is the work of the devil.
God cares more about how we “finish” than how we “began”. Do you remember the thief on the cross – actually two of them? One “finished” the other did not. Our Christianity can seem at times to be three inches deep and 7 miles wide. Nothing to it really, so when troubles come our way (deaths, divorces, children run aground, everything is messed up in our lives), then Satan wins because at a moment in one of these times, he chips away and gets to us via that one word “feelings”. As he sees the word “feelings” growing within a person, he takes the other word, “faith” and throws it out the window of the heart and he has managed to get control of our “feelings and our actions” and neither one has the blessing of our Lord.
I wonder. Are so many today with a shallow Christianity, because of shallow preaching? We will be held responsible for our commitment both in the pulpit and those of us who sit under the ministry in the church and then as we reach out to others to bring them in to the fold – will they have the capacity to remain when times hit their lives or will they extend their hands to Satan instead of dropping to their knees at the hem of the gown of our Lord. I wonder.
When you have a problem, what will you do. Satan is on your left. The Lord is on your right. Satan’s hand is extended offering you feelings, good things to counter your hard times. The Lord’s hand is extended offering you His promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Two directions. Will you go left or will you go right. One way leads to eternal damnation. The other way leads to Eternal Life. Which will it be? You have a choice.
With eyes fixed on Jesus!