Chapter 94



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(Mat 13:18)  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower [anyone who sows these fruit seeds].

1.      (Mark 4:13,14)  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word [i.e., the fruit seeds of love].

2.      (Luke 8:11)  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God [“God is love” 1 John 4:8,16].

3.      Commentary: Happy are those who see in earthly things the shadows of heavenly realities, who “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7). Words have power. Even the words of mortal men are seeds that grow and expand with power; they strike root in the heart, and produce, sometimes toxic weeds and poisonous fruit, sometimes good and fruitful growths. How much more this activity is magnified and true of the entirely “good” living Word of God. The Lord sowed all the field over, His followers must do the same. They must not choose one part which seems likely to be fruitful and neglect another which seems unpromising; they must try to reach all who are within their sphere of influence. The Lord shadowed forth solemn truths in those simple words; He would have men to ponder them in their hearts, but all would not do so. All had listened with the outward ear, but to many it was simply a story and nothing more. They would not, could not, penetrate into its real meaning, for they had not ears to hear. But “who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat 13:9). Let him whose heart God hath opened weigh well these holy words, for they relate to the most momentous issues in our earthly life.


(Mat 13:19)  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom [words are seeds, i.e., containers for thoughts; your bodies are seeds, i.e., containers for thoughts; you are “thought” creatures], and understandeth it not [Gk: to put together, i.e. (mentally) to comprehend: consider, be wise], then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side [Gk: the road side].

1.      (Mark 4:15)  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

2.      (Luke 8:12)  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved [“quick and powerful” Heb 4:12].

3.      Commentary: Some hear, but do not heed; they do not send their thoughts forth to meet the Word. It falls upon their ears and does not excite their attention; it does not reach their hearts. The path, trodden by many feet, was hard and dry; the seed could only lie on the surface, it could not sink into the earth. There are many hearts worn hard by worldliness and selfishness, trodden into the hardness of stone by the constant passage of worldly thoughts and worldly cares. Such cannot receive the Word; it lies outside of attention and focus, and will not enter uninvited. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:14).


(Mat 13:20,21)  But he that received the seed into stony places [of his heart], the same is he that heareth the word [of love], and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself [Prov 12:3; Isa 11:10, 53:2; Rom 15:12; Rev 5:5; 22:16], but dureth [Gk: endures] for a while: for when tribulation [Gk: pressure: affliction, trouble] [originated by internal demons] or persecution [originated by external people] ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended [Gk: ("scandalized"); entrapped; tripped up (stumbles), enticed to sin].

1.      (Mark 4:16,17)  And these are they likewise [“likewise” to what? Likewise to the way side, i.e., they are lost] which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

2.      (Luke 8:13)  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation [Gk: testing] fall away [Gk: to remove themselves, i.e. revolt; desert, etc.: depart, draw (fall) away, withdraw self]. [1 John 2:18,19]

3.      Commentary: Immediate joy is almost always accompanied with a lack of understanding; it is a bad sign; it often means that there is no sense of sin, no genuine sorrow and contrition for past evil deeds. Such a one has no perseverance; he dureth only for a while. The novelty wears off; perhaps trouble comes, or sickness and pain, or even inconvenience. The sun kindles into more vigorous life the deeply rooted plants; it scorches those that have no depth. So it is with affliction (Exo 1:12); it refines and strengthens the true disciple who is rooted in Christ; it offends the superficial Christian.

(Mat 13:22)  He also that received seed among the thorns [of his heart] is he that heareth the word; and the care [Gk: distractions] of this world, and the deceitfulness [Gk: delusions] of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful [Gk: barren: without fruit].

1.      (Mark 4:18,19)  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts [Gk: a longing (espec. for what is forbidden)] of other things entering in [from the world], choke [Gk: to strangle completely /// take by the throat] the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

2.      (Luke 8:14)  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection [Gk: to be a bearer to completion (maturity), i.e. to ripen fruit (fig.)].

3.      Commentary: In this case the soil is good, the seed sinks deep, but there were thorn-roots left in the ground. And so the thorns sprang up with the wheat and absorbed its nourishment, and grew above it, taking away its heat and light. It did not wither, it still grew; there were stalk and leaves and ear; but the ear was empty; there was no fruit. These are men of character, men of depth and thought and power, men of earnestness and stability. But, alas, there are thorn-roots. Such a man might have been a great saint; he becomes only a great merchant, or a great writer, or a great statesman. He never casts aside his profession of religion; he is upright, moral, and attentive to the outward ordinances of worship. But he brings no fruit to perfection because of the thorn-roots. He had not by diligent self-examination, prayer and understanding, weeded out the tendencies to worldliness which lie in every heart. The thorns grew up, and acquired daily more height and strength. There are leaves but no fruit; the thorns have choked the wheat. He has no time, no thought, no real love, for the things that belong to God; therefore, he beareth no fruit. He might have been a saint of God; but alas! he hath gained the world, and he hath lost his soul.


(Mat 13:23)  But he that received seed into the good ground [of his heart] is he that heareth the word [each (every) of the four soils “heard” the word], and understandeth it [Gk: to put together, i.e. (mentally) to comprehend: consider, be wise]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty [depending upon our willingness, our various abilities, and our obedience (understanding)].

1.      (Mark 4:20)  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

2.      (Luke 8:15)  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it [Gk: hold fast, keep in memory, possess, retain], and bring forth fruit with patience [Gk: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting)].

3.      Commentary: The honest and true heart is the good ground. Such a heart offers no hindrances or obstacles to the growth of the Divine seed, to the gracious in-working of the Holy Spirit of God (Phil 1:6). The soil is deep; most of the thorn-roots have been uprooted and burned by prayer and meditation, and the few remaining thorn-roots fall under “temperance,” which is self-control. The heart is thoughtful and serious; evil passions and covetous desires have been subdued by the grace of God. Such men bring forth fruit with patience. They go on from strength to strength in patient continuance of well-doing. They differ from one another in their natural gifts, in their opportunities; also in the degree of their devotion, their self-denial. But all bring forth the fruit of holy living, “some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Mat 13:23). “One star differeth from another star in glory” (1 Cor 15:41) but all are bright, shining with the reflected glory of the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal 4:2). The honest and good heart is good only because God hath made it so. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom 3:10). The seed has the same life-giving power wherever it falls. The hard heart, the shallow heart, the heart filled with cares or given up to pleasures, need not always remain what now they are. The holy seed, if received and cherished, will give richness and depth and freedom. The distinctions figured in the parable are not fixed and immutable. Thank God, the wicked man may turn from his wickedness which he hath committed; he may do that which is lawful and right; he may save his soul alive. All three cases of “the way side,” “on stony ground” and “among thorns” are sad; the last is the saddest, “for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” (2 Pet 2:21).



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