Matthew 13 record what is commonly called The Parable of the Sower. But, the focus of the story is actually on the condition of the soils on which the seed falls. The point of the parable is that the reasons that people do not respond to Jesus’ message have to do with the conditions of their hearts.
The Preoccupied Heart
Some have a preoccupied heart. The seed of the gospel falls into this person’s heart and he responds favorably. But over time, spiritual interest is slowly choked out. Left to grow in the heart, the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of this life can choke out the beginning signs of spiritual life. There’s no dramatic repudiation of the faith. Instead, the seed of the gospel slowly dies. They may still profess faith in Christ, but because of a preoccupied heart, the seed died long ago and they’re just going through the motions.
The Prepared Heart
Another type of soil is a prepared heart. What makes for good soil for planting and growing a crop? Hard work and careful preparation. The soil can’t prepare itself. The only way hearts will ever receive the word and bear fruit is if God prepares the soil of our hearts to receive it. There is no good soil without His intervention. He prepares the heart to receive the truth. Left alone, we will respond sinfully.
What happens in the soil that’s been prepared by God to receive the seed? Some bear more fruit than others, but all bear fruit, if it’s good soil. Notice that Christ identifies every soil that bears fruit as good soil regardless of the different rates of yield.
What is this fruit that every true Christian will produce? Obedience to Christ, to His gospel, and to His Word. The word that was sown in the heart gives the fruit of further obedience to the word which continues to be sown in the heart.
This parable helps you to understand the responses when we share the gospel. It also helps us examine our own hearts. Your heart is like one of the four types of soils Jesus described in this parable. Which one? That’s absolutely crucial for you to know.
You might ask, “How do I become the good soil if God has to prepare my heart?” You must repent of your sin and believe in Him as Lord and Savior.
If you are willing to do that, then your heart proves to be good soil.