Tuesday, April 10: The seed falling on good soil
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 13:18-23
"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
Let's see how Jesus identifies the elements of the parable for his disciples, whose ready hearts are prepared for God's truth. The seed is the good news of God's kingdom breaking into our world—through Jesus, who is the sower. The evil one is the devil. And the four types of soils are the hearts of those who hear the word. Do you understand the reasons why the seed can or cannot grow and produce a harvest?
As you think of those you care about who seem far from God's kingdom, pray that God, through the Holy Spirit, would prepare their hearts to receive the gospel and respond to it.