Parable of the Sower – Part IV: Good Ground
This week I’m wrapping up our series of the Parable of the Sower. So far we’ve spoken about the hard ground, the stony ground, the thorny ground with weeds, and today we will conclude with the good ground.
Matthew 13:8 AMP
8 Other seed fell on good soil [heart] and yielded grain, some a hundred times as much [as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.
Matthew 13:23 AMP
23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and grasps it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, some a hundred times [as much as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.”
The first thing we notice is that the ground here is in a state where it can actually receive and absorb the seed/Word of God. I want to submit to you that this ground was not always in this condition. In order to receive a seed, the ground has to be prepared. You don’t generally walk up to a patch of ground that is ready all on its own. The ground has to be tilled, or cultivated, or brought to a state where it can actually be considered good, usable ground…and some ground needs more or less work than others.
None of us came to God in a perfect state. In our quest for Truth, there were things in our lives that had to be put into a state of readiness. If we’re truthful, we will admit to having some hardness of heart; we will admit to being in a shallow state where there were stones right under the surface had to be exposed and removed….and God Himself had to give us tenderness in its place. If we’re truthful, we can all admit that too often we have had thorny ground where we allowed weeds to grow in our ground (heart): weeds of worry; weeds of distraction; weeds of self-reliance; and weeds of self-ambition. But as we grow in Jesus Christ, we come to learn that we must keep our ground in a state of readiness to produce. We must be intentional about it.
The scripture emphasizes for us that the good ground is the one that not only hears God’s Word, but also understands the Word, and then produces a yield or increase – a.ka. fruit. It is not enough to simply hear the Word, you actually have to understand it, and surrender to it by acting on it.
Understanding comes as we spend adequate time reflecting and meditating on the Word. When you meditate on what you hear, the Word has an opportunity to saturate your heart and prompt you to conform. Meditating on God’s Word helps you to be trees planted by the rivers of water that bring forth fruit in due season. (Psalm 1)
Good ground will produce fruit in abundance: some 100 times as much, some 60 times as much, and some 30 times as much. Those numbers are indicators of fruitfulness more than they are hard and fast quantities. What it means is that the more you understand and wholeheartedly surrender yourself to living God’s Word, the more fruitful you’re going to be.
If you have an ear to hear, you are encouraged to hear and heed God’s Word.