Open-Air Object Lesson
The One Fourth Fruitful Few
Sunday Jan. 12, 2020
Scripture To Consider:
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower; when anyone hears the words of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one [enemy of our souls] comes and snatches away what was sown in his [or her] heart. This is he [or she] who received seed by the wayside.”
“But he [or she] who received the seed [the Word of the kingdom] on stony places, this is he [or she] who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he [or she] has no root in himself [or herself] but endures only for a while. For when persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he [or she] stumbles.”
“Now he [or she] who received seed [the Word of the kingdom] among the thorns is he [or she] who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he [or she] becomes unfruitful.”
“But he [or she] who received seed [the Word of the kingdom] on the good ground is he [or she] who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bear fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13.18-23
Something To Consider:
Jesus was and remains the optimum lesson teacher of all times. From His wave-driven pulpit there in a boat, He most likely saw a farmer in the distance sowing seed in his field. Pointing in the direction of His newly found teaching material, the multitudes heard His parable of the sower and the seed. “Therefore hear the parable of the sower…” That is, to His disciples who were listening with intent interest enough to have asked Him for clarification, Jesus proceeded to unveil the meaning and mystery of this parable.
Evidently, these early disciples’ faith was increased to the point of desiring to understand what Jesus had taught. Evidently, the words of Jesus had not been sowed on the wayside and therefore were not snatched away through a lack of interest. Evidently, the seed of the Word of God had not fallen upon stony places or among thorns. Evidently, the seed of the Word of God had been planted within good soil, within hearts willing to receive and desirous to learn from the truth!
The apostle Paul warned in 2 Timothy 4.3-4; “For the time will come when they [those who received the seed of the Word by the wayside, upon stony places, or among the thorns] will not endure sound doctrine [true biblical teaching], but according to their own desires [fleshly lusts], because they have itching ears, they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [non-biblical lies].”
And though we are at that very point in this 21st century generation, where according to Jesus, 75% of the hearers of the Word of God will not endure to the end, one fourth fruitful few will remain faithful to be diligent in presenting themselves on a daily basis to God and will be seen by Him as workers approved by God who need not be ashamed. Can we claim to be among the few faithful who will endure to end? Or will we be found among the masses who will bow to the Antichrist and his end time demands?
Something Else To Consider:
The underlying truth of this parable is that there is one type of seed sown, and four types of soil, speaking of the spiritual soil of a person’s heart. The seed is the Word of God. The four different types of soil that the seed was sown in and continues to be sown in, determines the future fruitfulness of each individual. And yet, for all the grandeur of this open-air object lesson, so few can truly claim the blessing of understanding the parable.
For so much seed to have been sown, and only one fourth to become fruitful, is a matter to be considered by all potential future spiritual leaders in training. Being fruitful and faithful to the end may be considered synonymous according to the Word of God and according to Jesus’ words in Revelation 2.10; “Be faithful until death [or be fruitful unto death] and I will give you the crown of life.”
What reward could be more valuable than the reward of eternal life? Well, according to Jesus, for some, the deceitfulness of riches, wealth, and an ever-increasing retirement account, and the cares and physical concerns of this life are more than enough to choke the eternal life from many who hear the Word of God. Is that the case in our lives? Is that the case in our little earthly kingdoms?
What is it that the enemy of our souls has tempted us with that would keep us from enduring to the end? What is it in our lives that could hinder us from remaining faithful and fruitful? Hebrews 10.23 admonishes us by stating; “Let us hold fast [strongly cling to] the confession of our hope [in God’s Word] without wavering, for He [God] who promised is faithful.”
Something More To Consider:
The wayside soil of a person’s heart is the soil of non-interest. It is a soil of unwillingness to realize the spiritual need and benefit of being interested. The stony soil hearted individual becomes excited over a new prospect for enjoyment but does not endure the difficulties that arise from immediately believing the Word of God. The shallowness of soil does not allow the seed to take root.
The thorny soil hearted person has become so entangled with all the glitter and gold that the world seemingly has to offer, that the very life of the seed is choked completely to death before it can bear any resemblance of fruit. But, one fourth of the seed sown finds its way nestled beneath the soil of a fertile heart. There the seed is regularly refreshed by the water of the Word of God, thereby receiving all the spiritual nutrients required to produce long lasting eternal fruit.
Therefore, of which soil is our heart? Of which biblical soil is our life? What earthly distractions have we allowed into our lives to the degree that they have choked the life out of our resistance to the wicked one? We are warned in 1 Samuel 7.23; “Prepare your hearts [the soil of our hearts] for the coming of the Lord and serve Him only.” And Amos 4.12 instructs us by declaring; “Prepare to meet your God.”
A Few Final Words:
Each one of us will either meet God by way of death or by way of His coming again! Jesus cautioned in Matthew 24.44-46; “Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom His master made ruler over his household, to give them food [the Word of God] in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when He comes, will find so doing.”
The thought is that the Master, Jesus, is coming again. Therefore, are we properly prepared for His coming? Have we become among the one fourth fruitful few? Have we learned His lesson of a lifetime open air object lesson? Of what type of soil have we allowed our hearts to become?
Have we become and remained uninterested and thereby represent the seed sown by the wayside? Have we heard the Word of God and become excited and joyful but still refused to endure to the end as commanded by Jesus? Or God forbid, have we chosen a lifestyle of concern over the cares of this life which leads to the deceitfulness of riches? And if so, be assured, this choice will choke every ounce of life from our eternal future!
Spiritual leaders in training are potential future sowers of the seed of the Word of God whether they have any agricultural background or not. Jesus explained, “But he [or she] who received seed on the good ground is he [or she] who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Our Father in heaven, hide the seed of Your Word deep within the good soil of our hearts, hidden from the cares and riches of this world. In Him Always, Amen!