“How Do We Hear The Word?”
Jesus went about His ministry speaking in parables. It says in Mark 4:34 “But without a parable He did not speak to them.” Jesus spoke in parables so that they could more easily understand what He was trying to say to the people. One parable that Jesus spoke about concerns “the sower”. This parable is found in Mark 4:3-20 and in Matthew 13:18-23. In Mark’s account of this parable Jesus said: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:3-8). Of all the parables that Jesus told, this one in particular really cuts to the heart of why man does not always respond to the preaching and teaching of the gospel of Christ. Jesus points out to us that there are four kinds of hearers out here in the world. You and I are one of these kind. So which one are we? The one we are depends on what we do with the Word of God once we have heard it. Assuming that each of us has heard God’s Word, now let’s see where we stand in relationship to this parable that Jesus told.
Are We Shallow?
As the Word of God is sown or preached, and we hear the Word, do we immediately let Satan come along and lead us back into sin and the ways of the world? Some are very shallow, allowing Satan to immediately get his grips back in them. The Word that they heard quickly leaves them as they again become servants of Satan and not the Lord Jesus (Mark 4:15).
Are We Rootless?
Again, as God’s Word is taught are we like the seed that fell on the stony ground? Did we receive God’s Word with great gladness of heart and get excited about it for just a short time, only to see it quickly fade away? If this is so, then we are “rootless!” When tribulation and persecution comes our way we quickly succumb to the pressures of having to uphold the Word of God and we immediately stumble away. There are many who have eagerly received the Word of God, got excited about it for a short time, then drifted back into the world, letting Satan take command and control of their life! Individuals like this are simply rootless!
Are We Entangled?
This is where I believe most people are today. They are entangled with the affairs of this world and not the affairs of God. Jesus said that this type of person is the one that is likened to the thorny ground. The Word of God is heard but the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things choke out the Word to the extent that no fruit can ever be realized. Many today are entangled in the affairs of the world because they neglect the first commandment that Jesus taught and that is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). When we do not truly love God with all of our inner being then certainly the cares of the world and the lusts of it will take over and we will become entangled with them.
Are We Fruitful?
The one who hears the Word of God, accepts it, and bears fruit because of it is the one that will inherit eternal salvation (Heb 5:9). We must make sure that our ground (heart) is fertile, always ready and willing to receive God’s Word and DO what He asks of us! Let us all long for a fertile heart, and be anxious to bear fruit.