On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
A Friend of mine recently shared a Pastor’s speech on the “Beside the Way” that was Preached from Matthew 13:4. In farming, “beside the way” is also known as the “wayside”, because it is the place closest to the path (or the “way”) on a farm. The wayside is often hardened by the traffic from the “way”, so, therefore, it is almost impossible for any seeds to penetrate it. While many of us, including me, think that we are the fertile ground in this Parable (always ready to receive the Word of God), the Truth is that, for most of us, we fall into the “wayside” category. Sure, some Seeds of Faith make it through into our hearts, but given that we’re still in our “Wayside Faith” self, it often doesn’t go any further than that. Reckless Faith and Ruthless Trust are not found in many that walk the earth – even in some of those who seem to be the most Holiest folks you’ve ever met. We all fall short of the Glory of God and every single one of us is a sinner – no matter how hard we try or how righteous we think ourselves to be. On this side of Heaven, there will always be room for improvement on the Faith side of the equation; as none of us are Perfect like Jesus Christ. But, that’s where Grace comes in. Grace is when God gives us something we don’t deserve (like Eternity with Him in Heaven) while having Mercy on us to not give us the things we do deserve (like perpetual punishment). And, it all starts with Jesus Christ. It’s by His Blood that we are Saved and, at the end of our days on earth, it’s the only thing that any of us Believers can always Truly count-on. So, let’s strive to “cultivate” our “Wayside Soil” as necessary and “till” the hardness and remove tares that reside in our hearts through the wickedness and snares of the devil. Let’s “fight the Good Fight” and get-up and keep trying to get closer to God each and every day. Let’s love each other the best that we can as we inch on towards Eternity at the end of our days. And, let’s be as ready as possible for when the Eternal Gardener, Jesus Christ, comes to “pluck” us out of the ground that we struggle to grow in to become part of the Glorious Bouquet that is the Congregation of Heaven with Him, God, and Heavenly Hosts Forever!