See, Sower and Saw
Mark 4:1-9 41.25
What is your response when God speaks to you? Genesis 3:8 – Adam and Eve fled Exodus 5:2 – Pharaoh laughed Exodus 20:16 – Israel trembled Numbers 21:8-9 – Dying ones looked Jeremiah 15:16 – Jeremiah fasted Daniel 5:9 – Besshazzam paled Matthew 14:33 – Disc worshiped Dan/John/John fell at feet David pursued him
Jesus Christ now turns to the crowd and begins His longest parable in Mark’s gospel. He goes out to the Sea of Galilee and speaks in parables – truth thrown alongside common earthly events of the day to enhance their meaning.
What Christ said is critical to us today. Just as the world of God fell upon 4 kinds of soil or hearts then so it will right now… 4 – souls, 4 responses 1 – sower – Jesus Christ, 1 seed – word of God 1 – good soil, 1 – truly fruitful one, saved soul
Look at v.8 the theme of the passage is given: true believers produce fruit Now – what distinguishes the good soil ( a believer) from the bad souls (lost ones)? Let’s learn..
First parable (v1-9) Israel agricultural Josh divided land 1400 BC 14 centuries less 20 year captivity
v. 4 – The Hard Soil – paths between the long strips of tilled land. The seed was hand spread or a donkey walked with a bag with a hole cut in it that spilled the seed.
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v.5-6 – The Shallow Soil – all the tilled land was cleaned but the limestone that lay beneath the soil was close to the surface thus keeping the soil warm but not with depth for water mention etc.
v.7 – The Thorny Soil – again, cleaned and plowed but with heavy roots of perennial weeds that were stronger.
v.8 – The Good Soil – tilled, deep, clear of roots and fertile
v.9 – the ones who would respond had ears Second, the Promise v.10-12 v.10 – disciples question v. 11 – Christ explains v.12 – scriptures portray lost hearts same sun melts and hardens
Finally, the Explanation v.13-20 v.13-14 – The sower is Christ, the seed is the word
v. 15 – The First Hearer The hand or unresponsive heart Why? 1 Corinthians 2:14 – Natural man receiveth not… foolishness Psalm 14:1 – fool says no God 2 Corinthians 4:4 – God of world blinded
This one then and today hears and can turn away unconcerned, untouched, with no response! The heart is spiritually trampled, hard and Satan snatches away the world – but Christian hears and follows
v.16-17 The Second Hearer The shallow or superficial heart because underneath the surface of this persons life theme are huge hand areas unseen by all – there can be a rapid emotional response. But no real humility Matthew 5:3, no contrition, remorse, recognition of lost ness. Matthew 13:21 – foliage but no root! No deep foundation to stand in storms
But the Christian is rooted in Christ
v. 18-19 The Third Hearer: The crowded or worldly heart Beneath the surface lies the roots of sin, worldliness, lust crowd out and choke the world.
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*Excuses abound, *desire for everything but God and his word and his people I Timothy 6:10 – love of money, things, pleasure I John 2:15-17 – lust of flesh and eyes, pride of life These prevail in the lost heart!
But Christian overcomes!
v.20 The Fourth Hearer: The good or receptive heart What is this? John 16:8-11 – The Spirit prepared one John 10 – The sheep who hear I John2: 15-17 – the lovers of God
What happens? Fruit
What is Fruit? Two kinds Galatians 5:22-23 say attitude/character fruit Philippians 1:11, Colossians 1:6 say action / behavior
How much? Palestine farmers usually 1 for 8 Christ said 30, 60, 100 or 3000%, 36000%, 10000% That’s what God can do!
Today you heard God’s word That’s seed sown – I Peter 1:23 Word of God = seed
What is your heart’s soil?
1) Hard and unresponsive? Then let God break up your hard soil or fallow ground * 2) Shallow or superficial? Let God take the word deep by taking out your stony heart – Ezekiel 36:26-27 3) Crowded or Worldly? Let God give you a new heart, undivided that loves Him with all your heart, soul and spirit. Matthew 22:37 4) Good and responsive? Then bear fruit as you yield to the Holy Spirit
Avoid – Hardness and unresponsiveness, superficially and shallowness, worldly and crowded.