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Four Soils, Six Results 

Mark 4:13-20

This past Saturday evening it was still clear, but the forecast said the rain was coming. With daylight savings I had time. I took packets of seeds and went out into my yard. If you walk out through our garage, the first ground you come to is our hard packed driveway. Walk farther out in our yard and there’s rocky soil with less than an eighth of an inch of soil before the stone. Or I could have gone down where I needed my chain saw to get through the thorn trees and vines. I didn’t head for any of these bad surfaces. Instead, I went to our garden plot with my hoe and worked the earth to get it nice and soft. Then I opened my seed bags, carefully distributed the seeds, made sure they were covered with a quarter inch of fertile dirt, and now in a couple of weeks they should germinate, the plants will grow, and Mary and I can enjoy some fresh produce. 

If you live in the concrete jungle, you don’t know by personal experience what I just described, but Jesus was talking to country folk. Raised in Galilee, the crowds came from his home territory and they knew all about seed, soil, and generating a crop. That’s why Jesus told a story to them about the seed, four soils, and six results.  In today’s devo we get to sit in with Jesus’ inner circle and listen to him explain his parable.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you be able to understand any of the parables? The sower is the one who sows the word. Now these are those where the word is sown by the side of the road. Whenever they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in them. 

Next are those where the word was sown on stony ground. Whenever they hear the word they immediately receive it with joy, but they do not have root in themselves. They’re temporary. When suffering and persecution come on account of the world they quickly fall away. 

And then there are those where the seed is sown among the thorns. They hear the word, but the cares of this present age, the seduction of riches, and cravings for other things come in and choke the word. It fails to produce. But finally there are those who get the word on good soil. They hear it, receive it, and then produce thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and hundredfold.’”  Mark 4:13-20

We’ve already seen the religious leaders rejecting Jesus’ teaching and saying he was on Satan’s side. Later Peter, the natural leader among the Apostles, will allow Satan to cause him to reject Jesus’ word about the need for the cross. Jesus will have to strongly rebuke him. We’ve also seen the crowds overwhelm Jesus, hungering for his healing, but what will they do when they face pressure because of any connection with Jesus? And what happens in the lives of those who have received Jesus’ word but not allowed it to take deep root. What will happen when the choice is to disobey Jesus and keep their money or obey him and lose everything? Today, as Jesus seeks to teach me, my response determines what kind of soil my heart is today. 

LORD, cause my heart to be deep, soft, and responsive to your Son’s word. Protect me from allowing Satan to steal away any of your teaching. Thanks for the fruit I’ve seen so far by your grace. Help me to finish strong.  

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!