Matthew 13: 1-9
1 At about that same time Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. 2 In no time at all a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. 3 Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories. 4 As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. 5 Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, 6 so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. 7 Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. 8 Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams. 9 “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” The Message
3 He told many stories such as this one:”A farmer went out to plant some seed. 4 As he scattered it across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, 6 but they soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. 8 But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. 9 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!” NLT
This actually continues from the time Jesus has answered the accusations of the religious leaders in the crowds about where his authority comes from. Something to be noted about the crowd and why some of them were there. Isn’t it worthy of note also that there were so many and they were willing to stand, not a comfort zone, it appears. What a draw!
Jesus is talking to them in parables, stories with intent. The first is about the farmer and where his seed goes. The seed was the same seed, where it fell and how it was received was not. The results of the sowing was dependent on how it was received, not on the farmer or the quality of the seed. If the seed is the message of the kingdom of God, how are we receiving it? Deep into the soil of our lives so it can grow and bear fruit? Or do we let it lie on the surface, and wonder that it does not bear fruit?
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?” Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”