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The Soil of the Seed
Matthew 13:1-23

THE PARABLE of the sower in Matthew 13 is almost too familiar. Much has been said about the sower and rightly so. The seed has been duly designated the Word of God. The four types of soil have been ably asserted as the different conditions of men's hearts. One key which is grossly overlooked in the parable is the word used five times in eleven verses: understand.

Because the multitude did not "understand," Jesus spoke to them in parables (v. 13). Isaiah prophesied that the people's hearts would be "waxed gross" lest they "should understand with their heart and should be converted'' (v. 15). This one word then is extremely important in witnessing.

In the interpretation, Jesus related the seed that fell by the wayside to the one who "heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart" (v. 19). The real reason it was not productive is the Word was not understood. Now the seed that fell into good ground is "he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit" (v. 23). Whatever else may be said about the condition of the soil or heart, the main issue is the personal understanding of the gospel.

It is misleading to say, "You don't have to understand it," or, "Don't try to understand it but just accept it on blind faith" or some such statement. Nothing could be further from the truth. No, one does not have to understand the Trinity or many other theological problems to become a Christian, but the gospel--YES, he does!

It does not matter whether one is five years old or fifty, the key is that he understands what he is doing. Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not" (Luke 18:16). Never turn a child aside because of his age. Find out if he understands the gospel.

As I was giving the gospel to a band leader on a bus, he suddenly stopped me and exclaimed, "I see that." After carefully questioning him, I was assured he did understand. He believed and was saved at that very moment. There would be fewer professing Christians and more possessing Christians if this were more carefully observed.


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