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The Parable of The Sower

(Matthew 13:3-9 and 18-23)

I hope that in reading this parable, you will receive some new enlightenment and knowledge. I received some of this information from an apostle who came to my church, but I never considered that the slant he gave to this parable would affect me. I have never been the same since.

Matthew 13:3-9:

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth, but when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away, and some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them, but others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

In verses 10 to 17, Jesus explained the reason why He spoke in parables. He wanted the people to see, hear and understand. That is what the parables are for; to give understanding, but they make the seeker search truth out. For many years, I have been trying to search the deeper meanings of the parables. This book has been the result of much study and meditation, and I hope that you will be blessed by what I have to say.

Jesus continued to say:

Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

Now, let me establish what it says here in verse 19 about hearing the word of the Kingdom, but not understanding it. There are a couple of reasons why people might not understand the Scriptures.

Number one is that the preacher may not have explained a passage well enough, and so the listeners do not understand. But the major reason why people do not understand new teaching is that they hold onto old teaching. The flesh resists change!

I am not rubbishing Baptists here: I grew up in a Baptist church and was saved at the age of eight in such a church. Well meaning friends of mine have told me that apostles, prophets and the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to the church by God, in order to firmly establish it. They believe that once all the Scriptures were faithfully recorded, there was no further use for these other things. The complete word of God is all that we now need to become a mature Christian. Therefore, when Pastors teach like this, the congregation believes it must be correct after all they have a Theological degree.

The Apostle Paul encouraged us to find out for ourselves what the Scripture says!

The Holy Spirit has given me the gift of prophecy along with the gifts of knowledge and wisdom when necessary. I would estimate that during the course of my life I have given about four thousand prophecies to people. Three quarters of these prophecies have been given to total strangers on the streets. I would also say that each one had a powerful effect on its receiver about things in their life that only God would know. I am very grateful for these gifts because they have helped so many people over the years. Prophecy is a message from God and knowledge and wisdom give a particular directional word of God.

I have no problem knowing that the spiritual gifts exist and have a powerful effect. Apostle Paul said, “The best gift is the gift of prophecy,” and I know that this tremendous gift is amazing, but if you are a Baptist and I am talking about prophecy, straight away you say “No, that does not exist. That is Satanic.” If your mind is closed about something then only the Holy Spirit can cause you to accept it as truth.

So, if I was mentioning prophecy as a gift and was teaching about it, a Baptist would reject what is said so he does not understand anything that I say. Yet, I am preaching the Word of God and sharing about one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the same Holy Spirit today as He was two thousand years ago. If that is indeed true, I believe He still gives gifts.

The book of James says, “Good gifts come down from the Father” (James 1:17), but as soon as I start talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a reader who does not believe in the Pentecostal gifts may immediately switch off.

There are so many teachings that are true, but never take root in a person’s life. This is because the person listening switches off and says to himself that the teaching that he is hearing is erroneous. There is so much that God might want a person to hear, but that person switches off, because what is being taught does not agree with what he has been taught beforehand. This is the seed that is sown on the wayside. Does that make sense to you? In order to learn in this world, we need to have open ears. We need to listen to things with an open mind and let the speaker speak to prove what he is saying by the Word of God. If we switch off straight away when something contrary is said, we miss out on many blessings!

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” (Matthew 13:20-21).

Some people teach this: that some people hear the salvation message, but when tribulation arises, they fall away because they have no root in themselves. That it’s not a person’s fault if someone offends them at church or something drastic happens. Satan is there to attack people as soon as they have given their life to Christ, and so they may fall away. But a more appropriate meaning to this is, every time the Word of God is preached, it takes time to settle into a person or for a person to come into alignment with it and start to obey what was taught.

For instance, this book of parables has many insights. It teaches readers many things in order for them to work out their own salvation and things to practice in their daily lives. Now, people could start to practice one of the things that I have taught, start to visit people in homeless shelters, for instance, as I have shared in the parable of The Sheep and the Goats, and then suddenly some homeless man gets angry with them and shouts at them and looks like he is getting violent. That may scare the person off and they may stop practicing what I taught, ministering to the homeless, because persecution or tribulation had come to them.

Verse 21 says, “For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.”

When the Word of God is taught and you are starting to move out in a new way, abide in the Word of God. You are becoming nearer and operating closer to Christ in a more efficient way, and in Christ, there is new freedom and liberty. Satan is aware that you have moved in that new direction. You are becoming more effective for the Kingdom of God, so he rises up in opposition against you. Tribulation and persecution will come against you, directly associated with your new obedience. Now, if you are shaken by Satan’s attacks, well then, you will stumble and possibly fall away, and that is what the parable is talking about in regard to the stony places.

Now, the seed that fell among the thorns is he who hears the word and the cares of this world and the deceitful of riches choke the word and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

It is saying that the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful. The Kingdom of God has to be expanded. It costs a huge amount of money to broadcast Christian teachings on TV. It costs large amounts of money to take the Gospel to foreign countries. So often, people who are in those ministries could do so much more if they had more finances. Anything I earn from the sale of this book will go back into God’s work. Therefore I am not promoting my book for personal gain. I truly believe that it is an excellent tool for my readers to pass on to others or to buy multiple copies for people they have been praying for: people who need to know Jesus and also people who are open to learn more about the Scriptures. You could direct people to the website version of this book or advertise the link on Facebook.

But the thing that would stand in the way of most Western Christians is the deceitfulness of riches and the cares for the things of the world. If I am talking about making a two hundred dollars investment in copies or printing of this book, most often people will not go forth and spread this word to their friends, because of that money. Most often, the god of this world, Satan, uses money to prevent the will of God being accomplished. So many things come back to money and Jesus would not have shared this parable and said that the cares this world and the deceitfulness of riches stop people, if it did not. People care about their own reputation, that is why they do not share the Gospel or practice much of what is taught in the Bible, because they are worried about what other people would think.

Verse 23 says, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

When you hear, understand and practice the Word of God and tribulation arises, continue to press on and do not let the distraction deter you. It might even start costing you money. It may start costing you your reputation, but I encourage you to endure. If you persist through the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, the Word of God is being planted deeper and deeper in your heart. It will bear fruit and it will have a big return. You might find that difficult to believe, but the Scripture says that it will.

So, I hope that everything that you learn in all the chapters of this book compel you to go forth and live a richer Christian life. You do not have to do all the things I suggest straight away. Just do one of them and watch it multiply. Be aware that persecution and tribulation may follow, because Jesus warned us that it might. But know that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Go and bear fruit. I hope that I have given you some insight into this parable.

To read more about Matthew Robert Payne or to know how to book him to speak at your church click on my name Matthew Robert Payne