What’s getting in your way?

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Matthew ch13 v3

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, and I’m sure my wife won’t thank me, but our front lawn is looking a bit sorry tonight. It’s full of holes. There are several bare patches of earth where grass should be.

But that’s actually evidence of the effort my wife and I have put in this evening. Each of those bare patches is where a weed has been removed. We both got our hands dirty and worked to take away those plants that were so blotting our garden.

And as we were doing that, I found myself thinking of the parable of the sower. Arguably what we were doing was in many ways the opposite of that parable – we were weeding, not sowing – but there was a similarity that struck me.

The Parable

When we read the parable that the Lord Jesus told (it’s in Matthew ch 13, Mark ch 4 and Luke ch 8), we see a sower scattering seed on the land. The seed falls on four different types of ground, and three of them present problems that stop the seed from growing into the fruitful plant that it is supposed to be.

The seed that falls on the wayside, or the path, gets picked up by the birds, and never takes root. The seed on the stony ground does take root, but because of the ground that root is not strong, and the plant withers away. The seed among thorns also takes root, but the thorns crowd in and rob the seed of the nutrients that it needs to fully develop.

The Meaning

The Lord Jesus explains all of these things to his disciples. He didn’t always explain His parables, but He did in this case. The seed represents the Word of God, and now the great message from God is that we must all believe on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to be saved from our sins. All those who declare this great message are doing the work of the sower. The chief sower, truly, is the Lord Jesus Himself, but He allows us to have a part in this work also.

The birds that snatch away the seed represent the devil, showing that he seeks to snatch away the Word of God out of the hearts of those that hear it, so that they would not be saved.

The stunted root in the stony ground represents the self, in the sense of self-doubt, of insecurity, of uncertainty. These are people that have heard the Word, and they like it, but they don’t feel able to commit their lives to Christ, to place everything into His hands.

The thorns represent the world, and we see here the cares of this world, the interests of this world, the distractions of this world, can get in the way of the person coming to Christ.

The Good Ground

And that last point is the similarity that occurred to me while we were weeding earlier. We were removing weeds so that they wouldn’t get in the way of our lawn looking like it should, and the parable shows us three things that can get in the way of a person coming to Christ – the devil, the self, and the world.

If you are reading this and you don’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, then please, don’t let anything get in the way of you coming to Him. It is the greatest and most important thing you can do with your life. It matters more than anything else. Then you will be like the seed in the fourth type of ground, the good ground, which represents those that hear the Word of God, receive it, and trust in Christ, and are therefore able to show spiritual fruit in their lives.

If you are already saved, then please, be a sower, spread the Word of God, and don’t let anything get in the way of you serving Christ as you know you should.

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