Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 113 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Matthew 13 today and our focus is on the most important parable in the Bible. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Gujarat. India, China, New South Wales, Australia, Alberta, Canada, Wichita, Kansas, Los Angeles, California and Peoria, Illinois.  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

First off – why do I think I’m justified to call the Parable of the Sower the most important parable in the Bible? I take that liberty based on what Jesus said to His disciples about the parable in Mark 4:

13 Then he said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand all of the parables? Mark 4:13

It is possible that Jesus could be saying that this is a very easy to understand parable, but I think He is saying something deeper – like that this parable is the key to understanding the other parables. Put yourself in the position of 1st century hearers of this parable. What does it mean? Why is this Rabbi teaching about gardening? This is an excellent illustration of a parable in that its full meaning is not easily, nor quickly understood. On the surface, we appear to be talking about gardening/farming, and the principle seems to be that a good portion of seed ends up not bearing fruit at all, but a small portion of the seed more than makes up for the portion of the seed that was unfruitful and didn’t sprout. But, as we are about to find out, this parable is NOT about gardening or farming, or other horticultural principles at all. Let’s read our chapter, and then discuss it. 

Brief discussion today because our chapter is long. The Seed in this parable is the Word of God, and you and I are the soil. What sort of soil are you? It is not an exaggeration to say that the answer to that question will define the entire rest of your life. 

This is a crucial question because the most important things in the universe: Salvation, faith and the Kingdom of God come by what? BY HEARING! Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Salvation comes by hearing and responding to the Word of God. The Kingdom of God advances and comes through this seed – the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, says Jesus. IT COMES AND ADVANCES THROUGH HEARING. It starts small, and can grow into something incredible. 

So, what soil are you? Are you the kind of soil that gets a little excited about Jesus and His Word, and then you quickly move on to the next big thing, the next interesting thing, the next Tiktok vid, the next chore, the next snap, the next game, the next hobby, the next fun thing? Are you the kind of soil that gets so overwhelmed by difficulties – health problems, job problems, relationship problems, etc. that you just don’t have time for God or His Word? 

In verse 12, Jesus gives His listeners a sobering warning and wonderful invitation:  12 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. It’s a sobering warning, because if you don’t turn the course of your life towards pursuing Jesus and hearing His Word, you will not produce any fruit, and you will have nothing. It is a wonderful invitation because if you come to Jesus with a giant 50 gallon drum, wanting all that He has, HE WILL FILL IT. 

We conclude with some wisdom from Spurgeon on this passage:

Oh, my dear hearers, be sincere and solid in all things. Believe what you do believe, and take care that what you believe is worth believing, and is the very truth of the living God. Let it sink deep into your soul and take root there. I pray you do not espouse religion as a man puts on his coat to take it off again: let it be woven into the woof and warp of your being; let it be part and parcel of yourselves, running like a thread through all your thoughts, desires, and aims, so that if aught else of yourselves should be torn away, yet it would be impossible to tear away from you the blessed gospel, because it is in and of you, a component part of your truest selves. If you thus receive the gospel and give it root-hold you shall know more and more of its blessings; but if you do not thus receive it, but leave it to a rootless sprouting of mere surface religion, it shall be taken away from you when trouble and persecution arise.

C. H. Spurgeon, “More and More, or Less and Less,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 25 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1879), 449.

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April  James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

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