2017-04-30 – Matthew 13.1-9 – The Sowers

Mayday Mayday Mayday

2017-04-30 – Matthew 13:1-9 – The Sowers, Page 13

Good morning everyone. I am so happy to see you all here today.

Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of May? Wow, where does time go.

Mayday is the celebration of Summer and flowers, and the Maypole unwinding symbolizes the lengthening of days.

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

Please consider praying for our nation, especially this Thursday, because ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs a lot of prayer and America needs to remain One Nation Under God.

We are going through a sermon series on Parables of Jesus. Last week we went over what a Parable was and why Jesus chose to use parables to do a lot of His teaching for the followers and for the crowds that were gathering around him. Parables are complementary stories or illustrations that support a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.

Today we are going over a couple of related parables, that of the sower and that of the weeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9IOhGPrRvY

Please turn in your Bible to Matthew 13:10-17, or Page 14 in the Pew Bible.  Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God     [PRAYER]

To give you a little background to today’s message, you should know that Jesus had just started His preaching and teaching ministry around Jerusalem and Galilee. He had chosen the twelve Apostles, He was already healing many people and He was getting a lot of attention. The religious Jews, the scribes and Pharisees were starting to go after Jesus as He was telling the people things that were contrary to what was being taught and practiced in the synagogues.

Starting from verse one of chapter 13, it reads:

Matthew 13 The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil and they sprang up quickly since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

We have a few farmers here this morning that could tell you a whole lot about farming, better than I. But first you should know what a Sower is. A Sower is one who plants seeds. Whereas a Reaper is one who harvests the grain.

Ever hear of the term you reap what you sow? In other words you get what you work for. That is a great phrase when it is beneficial for you. But not so good when it works against you. If you work hard, you would like to reap or harvest one day what you have worked hard for in labor. We want this type of reaping. A person works for 40 years and afterwards gets to relax a little in retirement. Or how about a woman wo goes into Labor after carrying the baby in her womb for 40 weeks, then she goes into labor, and God willing she will reap the joy of her labor in a beautiful baby that they can then raise. Sowing and Reaping is a good thing.. most times.. But what about the other side of the stick, when reaping is not a pleasant thing. I think of people who have cancer due to years of smoking, or mental handicaps due to years of drug or alcohol abuse. Or what about when people reap what is coming to them based upon a life of criminal activity, that type of reaping isn’t a pleasant thing at all. This past week I went to the court house to be a character witness as they were trying to negotiate a lesser bail so they could get out of jail for an offense they committed. Not pleasant at all.

Sowing and Reaping, Sowing and Reaping

Jesus used Parables to teach and instruct. Sometimes He leaves the messenger to figure out the meaning and application themselves, however this parable is followed by an explanation from the Parable teller Himself, Jesus Christ. See now what He says about this Sower’s situation directly starting in verse 19, Jesus said:

The Parable of the Sower Explained

19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.

So just because a person hears the Word of God, doesn’t mean that they receive the Word of God. And Satan continues to rule over them.

20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.

This person likes what the church brings, the fellowship and the moral character, but never really accepted Jesus into their heart. They hang around for a little while but when it gets boring to them they find other things to do. They never really accepted God’s Word and God’s Will.

22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.

This one here is very well illustrated by the young rich man who came to Jesus and asked what he must do to enter into the kingdom, Jesus knew that he valued his money more than heaven and told him that he would have to give up all his money first. That man just disappeared. The love of money in this world, can keep you from an eternity in heaven. Remember the verse, Matthew 19:24, when Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”. But it really isn’t about the money, it is about how we value money. Don’t let the lure of anything choke God’s Word.

23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

So the seed in this parable is God’s Word. The good ground portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word—and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in his life. The man represented by the “good ground” is the only one of the four who is truly saved. Because you see salvation’s proof is in the fruit. Good fruit that comes out of the person.

We all know that there is bad fruit and good fruit, and I am not talking about bananas and tomatoes here. But the results of what comes out of a person’s lifestyle and choices is the proof of what is inside their heart. The Apostle Paul addresses this in Galatians 5:19, both the bad and the good fruit. He says:

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

I can tell you that when I was young, I had more bad fruit coming out of me then good fruit. But praise be to God, by His grace and mercy I have been called out of that darkness and into His light. Now my character yields much good fruit. PTL!

To summarize the points of the Parable of the Sower: How a person receives God’s Word is determined by the condition of their heart. And the secondary lesson would be that Salvation is more than a superficial; hearing the Good News gospel should cause folks who are truly saved to go on to proving it out.
May our faith reflect that “good soil” and “good fruit” throughout our lives ahead.

Now I want to switch gears a little here and present to you another Parable that is related to the Sower. It starts at Matthew 13:24, just below the Sower parable, entitled The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat. This one talks again about a different type of sower.  Jesus said:

24 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

This one is similar to the first as they both refer to seeds and sowers, but this one also brings up bad weeds amongst the good wheat. We could guess what this is about, but again in this Parable we do not need to guess, Jesus just below tells them and us directly what this all means. See what Matthew wrote here starting in verse 36: Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

So let me explain here what Jesus had explained, if I may.

Jesus is the sower, the one who offers His seed to all people. Those that have a heart prepared for His Word, and accept His gift of salvation, they are called the children of the kingdom or the wheat in this worldly field. Those that reject His seed, effectively belong to Satan, they are the weeds in this same worldly field. The Son of Man, namely Jesus will send His Angels to separate the weeds from the wheat, or the lost from the saved, and ultimately they will be cast into the lake of fire for an eternity of suffering. However, praise the Lord, those that choose to call themselves Christian, will live in the new heaven on earth restored with the Trinity Godhead for all eternity.

Which one are you?  Are you the wheat or the weeds? Where will you end up in eternity, in heaven or in the furnace of fire? Or maybe you know that you should accept Jesus’s calling on your life, but you just aren’t ready yet.

At the beginning of this message this morning we talked about the fact that Mayday is the first of May, being tomorrow. You might know that there is another common use for that interesting Mayday term.

Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by aviators and mariners, but in some countries local organizations such as firefighters, police forces, and transportation organizations also use the term.

The call is always given three times in a row (“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”) to prevent its being mistaken for some similar-sounding phrase or under noisy conditions.

The Mayday procedure word was originated in 1923, by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer in London, Mockford was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between London and Paris, he proposed the word “Mayday” from the French word “m’aider”, meaning “come and help me”.

Why am I bringing all this up today, well in our Parables today, Jesus the Sower of His seed or His Word, offers you a priceless gift of salvation. Jesus wants you not to go to the Furnace of Fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all eternity. He desires so much that you join Him instead in Heaven. There is a reaping time coming that the Bible refers to as the Rapture. We don’t know exactly when it will come, but scripture says it will happen before the time of Tribulation. The Bible also gives us many signs of what needs to transpire before the Tribulation occurs, and most of those sign events have already happened. Being that the Rapture or Harvest of Christians is before the Tribulation, that means it could happen any hour, any minute.. So this is your Mayday call.. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Jesus does not want for anyone of you to parish.

Will you please rise..
The writer of our verses today Matthew quoted Jesus in the last sentence of our scripture verses today; He said “Let anyone with ears listen!”

Has God’s Word (seed) that He prepared for you and delivered in this message today fallen on rocky soil, or soil that is full of thorns, or is it good fertile soil?

Are you the wheat or the weed in this Parable today?

Jesus Loves you; He died for you; and He wants an everlasting eternal fellowship with you in heaven. Will you accept that calling on your life today?