Right after Jesus’ friends said he was crazy (Mark 3:21) and the chief religious leaders of the day said he was possessed (Mark 3:22), Jesus took His disciples aside and explained the mystery of the kingdom to them. He said that understanding this parable was the foundational key to understanding any kingdom parable. The sower sows the word. I know so much teaching has been done on this, but please set your doctrine aside and do not think of the seed as money even if it is applicable.
He explains that the seed is the word, the soil is a person’s heart, and that fruit is solely due to the condition of the heart.
The first heart condition is the wayside heart, where Satan immediately steals the word that is sown. Matt 13:19 expounds that when it is not understood, Satan steals it. The heart is completely hard. The illustration is seed that falls on the road and is picked up by the birds of the air. The word is just not understood at all. I call this the “I just don’t get it” heart.
The second condition of the heart is the “I think I got it” heart. It is stony ground which may look normal and even have topsoil, but there is no depth. It receives the word or seed immediately with joy, but as soon as pain and persecution comes, it cannot endure. The amazing thing about this pain and persecution is that it is common. From the illustration stand point it is merely the sun, which in a good heart should produce fruit and nourishment, but because of offense, this heart is offended and the word cannot survive. Even more amazing is the fact that this heart gets offended at the seed (the word) not the pain or persecution (the sun). And the saddest thing of all for the stony heart is that the word is left in the mind so that you think you have it. Therefore, the next time you hear the same word again, you think, “I’ve already heard that, but it didn’t work last time. Why would it work this time?”
The third illustration Jesus gives is the “worried” heart. This heart is full of weeds: the weeds of the deception of riches (self reliance) and the weeds of the cares of this life (worry). Both of these principle weeds leave lordship to Jesus behind because whether you are self-reliant or worried there can be no trust in the word. This heart’s first response to every kingdom truth presented is, “What about….?” This heart has enough depth to let weeds flourish, but due to concerns for the future and for the unknown will not allow the life inside the seed to follow its own nature, which is to produce fruit born of faith.
The fourth one is the good heart. It allows the seed to produce on its own, following its own nature. If nurtured properly, this seed will grow and produce thirty, sixty, or even one hundred fold because the seed will produce one hundred percent if the conditions are right in the soil (heart).
Obviously, we want the good heart that allows the seeds, His promises, which is the word, to flourish and produce fruit in our lives. Jesus goes on to explain that we get a good heart by exalting the light we have (putting a candle on a stick) and elevating the light (revelation, illumination). Then He says to listen with all your heart. What you are living, good or bad, is what you are meditating on. The amount of thought you measure out is what you are getting back. Then he says that those who have will get more and those who have not will lose even what they already have. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It is a kingdom principle that works autonomously.
I encourage you to take another look at what you listen to, what you think about as a rule, and take another look at His promises. Are they working for you? How much time do you set aside to meditate on the seed that changes your very self-image? We are supposed to be being changed into the image of Christ. That image is love and it attracts miracles, signs, wonders, limitlessness, peace, long life and the life of God Himself.