Matthew 13:1-23 Four Responses to Jesus (The Path)

As you read the passage of scripture it is easy to place yourself in one catagory or another but all of us need to ask what is the   condition of our hearts.  That is the main emphasis of this parable as Jesus explains how each person responds to Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

This passage of scripture is really about who belongs to Christ and who doesn’t. Jesus never leaves room for doubt and it is important that we examine our lives as we open up the word of God.

The sower: Represents Jesus in the story but it also is about us because that is what we now are supposed to be doing.

The Seed: represents the Word of God

Jesus went outside to teach and because of the miracles and because people were captivated by his teaching a large crowd came to hear Him. As He was teaching about the sower and the seed the people would have known what picture Jesus was talking about or it could have been taking place as He taught because they area they were in had good soil for growing crops.

A sower would have a bag of seed that would he would reach his hand into to spread the seed. As the sower spread the seed the wind would take some to various places that the farmer maybe never intended it to go. We cannot miss this part of Jesus illustration because it demonstrates that the truth about who Jesus is, what He did for us on the cross, and how we get back in a right standing with God is because God allows the word to spread everywhere even those who may not want to hear it.

The Path: Those that reject Jesus

Paths would lead right through an area where a farmer would farm and people would always use them as roads or a cut through. A similar path was taken when Jesus disciples got ridiculed by the Pharisees. They were ridiculed because as they were walking along they reached out and grabbed some wheat to eat or take along their journey, which was not wrong, but it was on the Sabbath.

The path although would be packed down it was not a concrete path. That means that if the pathway softened up it could be receptive to the seed that was sown.

The Birds: represent Satan

Hears but does not understand it, evil one comes and snatches it away

Church: Many people have gone to church and walked away saying they have not gotten anything out of it. This is not only common but it is dangerous because they do not see what is happening and that the problem may not be the church but the condition of their heart.

Think of how many times you have walked out of church and forgotten what was just spoken to you?

Although this passage applies to people who are too skeptical/ cynical/ or hard hearted to receive Christ, as a Christian we can have the same thing happen to us. I wonder if there are times we have not accepted something from God and how quickly it is snatched away because it was not burned in our hearts and our lives.

Some people will never understand Christianity because they chose not to. They hear about Christ forgiveness of sin but because they do not think they are that bad they do not have conviction of their lifestyle. They quickly give reasons that we cannot know which religion is right so then they just dismiss the discussion or even the search for truth altogether.

Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake.

The Methods Satan uses to snatch the Truth away from your life.

Church People: The Hypocrites that say one thing and live another way. The people that hurt you through their actions so you no longer want anything to do with God. This includes Pastors. I am not saying that it leaves people with an excuse for rejecting the truth of Christ but it is a factor in their lives. If you have been hurt by people in the church I would ask you to make sure that it does not change your view of Jesus and what He has done for you.

False Teachers: They tell you all roads lead to God or that if you are good enough God will let you in. We like to think just like the religious leaders of Jesus day that in and of our own actions we can make it into Heaven. We forget that the good news of Christianity is that Christ paid the way for us so we do not have to earn it. This is good news because there is nothing we can do to earn the favor of God.

Pride: What will others think of me if I become a Christian? Some people will not accept the message of Christianity because it may cost them friendships or family members. Although those things are not easy it comes down to we are more worried about ourselves and what others think about us than knowing the truth.

Doubt: What if Christianity is found out to be false one day? Christianity has never been proven wrong and there is more evidence for it to be Archaeological, Historical and scientifically correct that if the evidence is examined in a court of law you would have to side with Jesus being God in the flesh.

Procrastination: I am going to live my own life now and later I will give my life to Christ.

Intellectual Maturity: Christianity is for the simple minded or Children. This belief is based  not on  facts but the assumption that Christianity is false and therefore does not need to be studied.

Lack of Understanding: I don’t get it so forget it.  Only in spiritual matters do we quit. You don’t do that with your Smart Phone, Computer or surround sound system. Why would you with the most important question ever in life give up on searching for the truth?

Luke 8:4-5 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it.

Some of us who are praying for loved ones see this because every time we think they are going to understand or surrender their lives to Christ it is like someone came along and just stomps it out. It never fails that another minister will be caught doing something that then turns the person away from Christ. It is sad that so many people allow others to influence their pursuit of truth.

Re-read Matthew 13:9-15

“He who has ears let him hear” Jesus is not only asking them to listen to what He is saying but it is also a call for a response.

Jesus previously was talking about having life and not just a clean house and the religious leaders were not happy that all the work they did to be right in the eyes of God was not enough to be in right standing with God. Jesus was calling them at this time to really look and respond accordingly to what they have heard.

1 Corinthians 2:11-14 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

If you a do not understand the things of Christ I want to encourage you to do what the disciples did and ask Him for understanding. Many people believe in God but they are unwilling to really search Him out.

“Whoever has more will be given abundance” Have you accepted what God has already revealed?

A person that outright rejects Christ because reasons discussed will not be given more understanding but less. This is also why as you grow in your Christian walk you understand more and more each year.

Matthew 7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Some people study the scriptures just to prove it wrong or to find fault so they can dismiss it altogether. They have no intention of searching them to understand and know the truth. Why should God give you more knowledge when your mind is already made up? The things of God are precious and what He has revealed to us needs to be treated as such and God has already gone to great lengths for you to have a relationship with Him.

How much more would God have to do that has not already been done?

Atheist who had searched for truth and come to Christ include people like Josh McDowell and  Lee Strobel. Josh McDowell was even set on proving Christianity wrong but the evidence was too great for him to ignore.

Books I would suggest you look into are:

I” don’t Have enough faith to be and Atheist” By Norman Geisler and Frank Turek,

 “The Case for Christ”, “The Case for Faith”, “The case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel,

 “Evidence that demands a verdict “ by Josh McDowell.

Hear but not understand/ they have closed their eyes: You do not understand because you choose not to understand.

Jesus explains why they do not understand because They close their eyes. It is not that the truth cannot be discovered it is that they do not want to really know the truth. Jesus disciples received the explanation because they came to Christ and asked Him. Jesus quoted Isaiah 6 which was Isaiah commissioning to go to a people that would not accept the message from him.Jesus was saying to His disciples that no amount of evidence, talks will do for some people because they do not want to understand. That does not stop God from sending the message to people but it shows that some people will reject Christ no matter what they hear or see.

Heart has become calloused

This is where especially for Church goers it is dangerous because you can hear it so much that it no longer has any impact on your life.

Number 15:31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”

Callouses occur on my hands when my hands resist and object like a shovel. The longer I resist my skin eventually forms callouses taking away the feeling away from that part of my hand.  If God reaches out to you and your reject Him over time you will no longer be sensitive to His calling. It is not that He no longer reaches out to you but you have become so hardened to His call that you are no longer able to hear Him.

When people come to Christ it is not because they are simple minded, it is because they are not hard hearted.

John 1:9-13 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 Four key questions you must address.

  • Origin: How did we get here? Yes, there has been much debate about this but if you really study evolution with an open mind you realize that it does not explain how we came to be. There are even Atheist that are now refuting Darwinism. That does not mean that they  are going to God it just means they know evolution does not explain the origin of life.
  • Meaning: Does this life have meaning? If you do believe in evolution then you also believe that when you die you just vanish. Your life has no purpose or meaning on this life. With God you do have meaning because it means you are a special creation created for His purpose and plan.
  • Morality: What founding truths do we live by? If there is no God then you make up rules as you go. There is no foundation by which you can establish a standard. This means there are no moral standards and you cannot tell someone that murder is wrong. Only through God can you establish that life has meaning because if we are all here by chance through an evolutionary process then no life on earth has meaning.
  • Destiny: What happens when we die? This is where the study of religions comes into practice. Only Christianity gives a full proof plan that you can enter into heaven. All other religions say things like might or possibly. Christianity is based on Christ and when you accept Him and what He did on the cross you can have eternal life. (John 3:16-17) But it also means that you believe Christ died on the cross for all your sins and you have to call sin what God calls sin.

Christ wants to make it clear that at this point in your life it is not too late but a day will come when you die that you will no longer have the opportunity to respond to Christ.

For those who have loved ones that seem to be calloused by Christianity instead of receptive to it I want to encourage you to not stop praying and taking the opportunities to share with them the good news of Christ. Keep sowing those seeds of truth into their life because you never know when they will sink in.

If you do not understand the things of God or if you have a loved one that does not I would encourage you to pray what king David prayed.

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law

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