The Parable of the Soils

The first of the seven parables in Matthew 13 is about a sower and soil. The story is drawn from everyday life. A sower scattered seed and it falls on different kinds of soil with different results. The seed sown on the hardened path produced no fruit, whereas the seed sown on rocky and thorny ground produced some fruit, at least temporarily. However, the seed sown on good soil produced from thirty to a hundredfold. In every case, the seed sown was the same; the condition of the soil determined the result. Such is the case with the kingdom of heaven. According to Christ's own interpretation, the seed is the word of the kingdom (Matthew 13:19).


There are four types of soils:


1.    Wayside Soil: (Matthew 13:4, 19)   This refers to the footpaths that ran beside and through the fields.  The soil had become packed from constant use.  When the seed fell on this soil it could not penetrate and was devoured by the fowls of the air. 


2.    Stony Soil: (Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21) Often a large layer of limestone rock would be covered by a thin layer of topsoil.  When the seed fell it would germinate and quickly spring up but soon withered in the intense heat of tribulation, persecution or temptation because it had no roots.  It cost to put God's kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) and realizing this many will turn away.


3.    Thorny Soil: (Matthew 13:7, 22) The ground is fertile as the plants live and grow well. However, the seed is sown among the thorns and they both spring up together.  The thorns are the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of this life and choke the word and the disciple becomes unfaithful because of his divided mind



4.    The Good Ground (Matthew 13:8, 23) The seed produces a good crop, "yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."  It is only the open heart that receives the benefit of the preaching of the gospel and is saved because he understands and appreciates it


Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matthew 11:15) The Lord is challenging us to look at our hearts and determine if we are represented by the Good Ground and are producing spiritual fruit.  We must understand that we are responsible for how we hear the Word of God and respond to it.





"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"

Walnut Street Church of Christ


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