During His time here, Jesus taught. He taught the crowds of people who would gather around Him time and time again, and He taught His disciples, the very men who would write, by the inspiration of God, the Gospels. In the Gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke, there is a certain parable that Jesus taught about a sower, one who plants seeds. Let’s look at Mark’s account of what Jesus taught.
“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” | Mark 4:3-8
After Jesus told this parable of the sower to the people crowded around Him, His disciples were curious as to what exactly it all meant. I don’t blame them. After the first read, there were so many questions that I had. Who is the sower? Who are the birds? What is the ground with not much soil? What represents the sun and the thorns? What is considered “good soil?” I can imagine these young guys following closely after Jesus asking him a million questions. Thankfully, Jesus, as the Master Teacher, went on to explain to His wondering disciples what this parable meant. And thankfully, again, we are the beyond blessed recipients of this true Word of God with all that we need to make it here in this life.
There are four types of soil Jesus speaks of in this parable. These four types of soil are four types of people.
These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. | Mark 4:15
The Overruled are blind. Whether we like it or not, as believers, we all were blind at one point. No amount of sowing, no amount of digging and planting and watering and sowing again would work. Such was the case for me. Satan had a hold on my life for many years. He did what it took to keep me away from real Love. BUT Jesus did what it took to get me back, to redeem me. Satan is real, and he is on the prowl. BUT God, being rich in mercy, because of HIs great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5). My prayer now is that the Lord would give me the eyes to recognize these people, The Overruled. Because I know, by the blood of Jesus, the blind have the chance to taste and see life in abundance.
In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. | Mark 4:16-17
The Faithless don’t really believe it all. They like what looks, sounds and feels good. But they don’t like hurt or change. They don’t want pruning. They definitely don’t want to be uncomfortable for the sake of “religion.” The Cross is worth close to nothing to them. They don’t believe that Jesus – yes, Jesus – actually died. They don’t believe that the Word of God is actually THE Word of God. And so at the sign of trouble, they fall away. They don’t have roots. They just have pretty on the outside, but no change of the ugly that’s on the inside. I’ve been here, too. Believe
me Jesus, He is the only way.
And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. | Mark 4:18-19
The Worldly just can’t seem to find their footing in Heaven. They like it better here. They aren’t looking forward to a home beyond the skies. This world is their home. But is what they see here good? No… They aren’t happy. They’re being choked by the very things that they are looking to for satisfaction. I remember when the things of the world seemed more appealing than the spiritual blessings and the inheritance promised by God. The world does a great job of making things seem glamorous. Let’s be real. What’s so glamorous about living a purposeless life? What’s really appealing is knowing a Savior who gave Himself up for me. What’s really exciting is knowing that I live because He lives. Jesus is the giver of life.
The Ready & Willing
And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. | Mark 4:20
The Ready & Willing have hearts of flesh, not hard hearts. They are ready to surrender to the Lord. They are willing now to do what it takes to love Him because of the love He first showed. The Ready & Willing are obedient to God’s Word. They say, “Yes, Lord” and follow closely behind Jesus, as His disciples.
They are not overruled; they are VICTORIOUS in Him.
They are not faithless; they are FAITHFUL in Him.
They are not worldly; they are HEAVENLY citizens with Him.
Do you see it? There is One who makes it all make sense. There is One who makes our soil good and makes good come from us. There is One who deserves all of us. He is Jesus – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave His life for you and me.
So, what’s your soil? Are you ready and willing to make Him Lord of every part of your life?