The following scriptures are from the Lord's teaching on the Sower of the Word as found in Mark's gospel. For a better flow of thought, each beginning parable is tied together with the Lord's explanation of its meaning. At the end of the full parable, the Word of God speaks to willing hearts that have ears to hear what Holy God's Spirit is saying; and in response, receive the Seed of His Word to be planted within the soil of their hearts, so as to be cultivated into a son of God (See Isaiah 53 verse 10.)
The Sower sows the Word. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. Explanation: And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; and when they have heard, straightway comes Satan, and takes away the Word which has been sown in them.
And some seed fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately the seed sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Explanation: And these in like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky places, who, when they have heard the Word, straightway receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but are temporary, enduring for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately they stumble (and fall away).
And some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked the seed, and it yielded no fruit. Explanation: And others are seed that are sown among the thorns: These are they that have heard the Word, but the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4 verse 3 thru 20.)
According to the Sowers Words, there are many passer-byes, who on hearing the Word are unaffected. The self righteous are already satisfied within them selves, and the Word can find no place within them. Unbelief quickly settles back within the mind that is destitute within its self, and doesn't know it. (See Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary.) For it is not the hearer of the Word that is justified before God, but the one who actively responds to God's call to a living faith in Him. Be you doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1 verse 22. See also James 1 verse 21 thru 26.) Then there are those, who upon receiving the Word, initially sprout up in the darkness of their night with the dew of the morning, but when the intensity of the Light of the Word of God shines upon them, they have no roots that will seek for the deeper Water of the Word of God, and they wilt away in the trying of their faith through the trials of life. Apparently for others, the call of sinful self idolatrous flesh cries out louder than the Call of God for their repentance, and with their thankful return to Him. Because of their willful hearts, they never fully submit to the tether of the Lord’s disciplined love and care. In not returning fully to the care of their Creator, they remain in their original setting of comfort with their perverse friends, and do what is acceptable and expedient in their own worldly eyes. The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverbs 21 verse 16.)
For in Jesus Christ, faith labors in love. (Galatians 5 verse 6.)
And other seed fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. Explanation: And those are they that were sown upon the good ground; such as hear the Word, and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty-fold, and sixty-fold, and a hundred-fold.
James, the half brother of Jesus, speaks to the persons, who say they are of the faith, and he challenges all, saying: Even so, faith, if it has not works, is dead being alone. Yes, a man may say: You have faith and I have works: Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my labors [in love]. (See James 2 verse 17 thru 26.) In today's pointed vernacular, James would be saying; "Show me the money". That is, "Put your money where your mouth is". The very heart of man, beats incessantly to sustain the natural life of the body. When the heart ceases to beat, then the life of the flesh in the blood ceases to flow, and the soul departs from the dead body. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so then faith without labors is dead also. (James 2 verse 26.) Therefore, those with new born faith, have been given a new beginning in the Life of God, by the same Spirit of God that raised up our Savior, Jesus Christ, and have been given a new pliable heart of unselfish love. That new heart, being enhanced with the renewing of the mind, is the same Spiritual Heart of the Spirit of Christ Jesus that will also labor thankfully in the Love of God. O taste and see that the Lord is good! (See Psalm 34.) (See also 1st Corinthians 3 verse 16 thru 18 and 1st Corinthians 6 verse 19 thru 20.)
And Jesus said to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it? Or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lamp stand? For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And Jesus said to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he (thinks he) has shall be taken away from him.” (rMak 4 verse 21 thru 25.)
Paul write in his letter to the Romans: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is 'in' Christ Jesus our Lord. (See all of Romans 8 verse 35 thru 39.) I am also persuaded of God's faithfulness to all those that are alive in God's love that is within Christ Jesus. But did the reader ever notice that the wanton will or lust of the man or the woman is never mentioned as a disqualifier to God's attentive Love. You can not both love God and the ways of the world, for you will either love the one and hate the other. (See Matthew 6 verse 24.) Paul, in another form, will bring a warning in Romans chapter 11 as he makes a comparison of the unbelief of the Jew to that of the faith of the believer. Now if the faith of the unbeliever is mingled in the mire of unbelief, then they need to be careful, and repent, so that they are not also cut off from God's goodness that is rooted in the Tree of Life, Christ Jesus. (See Romans 11 verse 13 thru 22.)
Peter also has a stern warning to the false teachers and their followers: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb:
The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. (See 2nd Peter 2 verse 17 thru 22.)
To proceed to the next section and chapter, please click on Looking down the Barrels of Judgment.
Robert Glenn Pratten