This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights. The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1.
The video draws upon the parable of the Sower to expand on the nature and issues of spiritual apathy that is poison to the goal of being the discipleship of the Lord Jesus.
Mat13 – 1-15 Parable of the Sower is in the category of a Kingdom Parable is a foundational parable to understand all other parables. This parable draws attention to the heart condition of the believer in His Kingdom. Many view the parable of the Sower as relevant to the unbelieving world- but why would this parable of the Kingdom, where only believers can qualify to be Kingdom citizens, be directed to non-citizens unbelievers?
I am not saying there is no application for unbelievers, but the context of Mat13 appears to indicate its relevance for believers.
The parable in a nutshell-
- The Setting of the parable – About the Kingdom of God
- The Story – A Sower sowing the same seed in 4 types of ground (heart condition)- impenetrably hard by the wayside, the shallow rocky soil, the soil where thorns grow, and the good soil.
- The Significance – To teach the truth about the heart condition as foundational to spiritual growth and maturity.
Three existential reality shapes the heart dictating one’s response to the word of God. They are the deceived, discouraged and distracted hearts.
- The reality of one’s life pursuits- beware of the fallacy of pride that can hijack the life pursuit. This represents the hardness of the unconverted heart (along the hardened wayside), hardening in unbelief, and hardening in stubborn pride. This heart is deceived.
- The reality of one’s pain, a discouraged heart bearing the scars of trauma, represents the shallow rocky soil. The pain is expressed as the scorching sun of tribulation and persecution (Mat13:9).
The pain of life makes one forget about God as the root is shallow (not inclined to depend on God) and resorts to other means to solve the pain. God and His revelational truths become the emergency panic button of last resort to solve the pain. This heart is discouraged.
The heart’s shallowness is likely due to being traumatized by life’s pain to protect itself. But this same coping mechanism also results in a superficial relationship with God.
- The reality of one’s desire for pleasure, where the distractions and pleasures of life enchant the heart. This heart is represented by thorns, the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of wealth. This person desires blessing over the God who is the source of blessing. Such a person forsakes their eternal values for earthly pleasures. This heart is distracted.
In the next post, the cost of discipleship covers the solutions to these heart conditions that impede the authentic discipleship of Christ.