The Parable of the Sower
The parable of the sower is an agricultural analogy. It uses something that we, with our limited spiritual perceptions, can easily understand in order to offer us an insight into the spiritual truths that Jesus understood perfectly well. Unless you are like the kid in the city who thinks that apples come from the store, not tying the apple to an apple tree, you understand that seeds need to have a good environment in which to grow.
The seed in this parable is the word of God. It is spread everywhere as the sower goes through the field. The different types of soil represent those that hear the word and how they respond to it, how the word grows in their life, and ultimately tells us what kind of soil they are. In this lesson, one of the most interesting of the soils is the thorny soil.
It would be understandable to listen to this parable and conclude that only 25% of the soils (the good soil) produces anything. However, that is not quite true. The thorny soil also produced something…thorns. In fact, it may be concluded that if the thorny soil did not have the thorns that the seed also would have produce good fruit. In other words, the only reason for being unproductive is the thorns.
This makes it imperative that we understand what these thorns are. Understanding them helps us take a measure of our life and remove them if we find them. These thorns will choke the word of God and make it unfruitful if we do not remove them.
The thorns are the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things. These three items pretty much cover it all:
- the cares of the world are those things that the world cares about. What does the world care about? See Luke 12:30 Food, drink and clothing. Yet we are reminded not to be like them. Our Father knows what we need and we should be content if we have food and clothing. I Tim 6:8
- The deceitfulness of riches are seen in those who think that wealth is going to provide everything that they need. This is not the case. Luke 12:16-21
- The desires for other things include anything which God has not authorized. Desire that goes beyond what God has provided to us is wrong. Ahaz wanted Naboth’s field, Korah wanted the leadership position of Moses, Ananias and Sapphira wanted praise of man.
We get these thorns from the world and from our upbringing. Some who serve the Lord have been called out of the world others have been raised in the church but the influences of the world have crept in. Some of the thorns that have been brought into Christian families are these:
- Getting an education. This can be an important thing but families should never put so much emphasis on the grades a student gets in school while neglecting the spiritual education. The job will not save their soul.
- Buying a house because renting is bad. I don’t know who thought of this but it seems pretty common knowledge. If you rent for to long, you have ‘nothing to show for it’. Unfortunately, people rush others into buying and it becomes a burden. I could refer to the statistics of foreclosures going on right now but simply consider that the Bible says with ‘food and clothing’ we will be content…it does not say ‘shelter’.
- Debt is ok. There is really something wrong here and especially when you are buying something that is a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’. When you do this, you are in effect saying that God is not able to provide for me so I will borrow from the future and promise to pay it back later. When you don’t even know if you have a tomorrow…
To get rid of these thorns one needs to keep his eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:1-2), add characteristics that allow us to see what is truly important (2 peter 1:9) and learn to be content with things you may consider to be less than you should have. (I Tim. 6:3-11)
Here’s the sermon: http://lostpineschurchofchrist.com/media/The_parable_of_the_sower.mp3