Jesus was a great story teller. During His earthy ministry He told stories, parables, to illustrate important points in a way that would help people to relate to the message and understand its significance.
One of the parables is that of the sower, whom in this case was Jesus Himself. He knew, of course, that there would be some who were attracted to His message, but others would either listen and then lose interest, while others would reject it entirely. Here is the parable that Jesus shared in Matthew 13:1-9
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’”
For anyone who has ever tried to share the Gospel with someone else, you know that it’s sometimes a challenge, especially when the message is rejected. We tend to take it personally. Our egos are bruised. But it isn’t about us at all, it’s about God’s business.
Jesus was never in a hurry
That is why Christians today learn about ways to evangelize, so they can best communicate with any person. We want to get to the punchline and get people to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, but it doesn’t work that way.
Jesus was never in a hurry and He always met people where they were at. People for the most part liked him, that is except for the Pharisees, who saw him as a troublemaker and a threat to their authority. They accused him of blasphemy. Little did they know that it was He who inspired the Scriptures.
Some have a harden heart
The pathway in the parable represents those with a hardened heart. They will never receive the good news or turn to God for salvation. The rocky places are those to hear the message and it appeals to them, but they haven’t completely bought in to the message, so at the first sign of conflict, they fall away.
The thorny ground tells us about people who receive the Gospel, but they have other things getting in the way, like their job, money, social standing, etc. God’s truth doesn’t grow in them because there isn’t room enough to allow it to flourish.
The good soil, as it’s description implies, talks of people that allow the Word of God to take root in their soul. They share their love of God with others, they study, they associate with other believers and this is exactly what Jesus wanted.
Hard ground will not bear fruit
The parable illustrates the condition of the heart of man. One can argue whether or not those who are less than the “good soil” are going to heaven. But that is a discussion for another day.
The hard ground clearly is not going to bear any fruit, any belief, or any kind of life change.
The others represent various degrees of belief. How much belief, how much faith is necessary for salvation?
It is the opinion of this writer that wherever a person is on the spectrum, God will spare them. Even those with true belief/faith, however fleeting or childlike in nature. Only God knows the depth of the human heart. This is exactly why all of us need to open up to Him and allow Him to take root.
A simple message
Jesus brought us a simple message. He expressed it in multiple ways, so various kinds of people would hear it. The Apostle Paul, the evangelist to the gentiles, followed Yeshua’s lead and likewise altered his style and approach. A great deal of thought and effort went into communicating a simple message, just so we can understand it.