We move on in Matthew to examine the parables of the Kingdom, beginning with the parable of the sower. We see that through this parable, Jesus is teaching us that His Kingdom grows through proclamation of the Gospel, but shows the reactions we will encounter from those who hear.
We see that the majority of hearers reject the word or remain fruitless for various reasons. These, being completely without fruit, are clearly unconverted. However, there are those in every age whose hearts the Lord will prepare to receive the Word and bear fruit to His glory.
This message is applied to us in 2 ways:
- That we must be sowers of the Word and we have the encouragement of knowing that we shall know success among those the Lord will call. Our reward in heaven will be determined to an extent by not only our own fruitfulness, but by that of all those in whose conversion we are privileged to play a part. This should motivate us in our evangelism.
- From time to time, all true believers experience the hardness of heart, the anxiety and the love of the world that is pictured in some of the unfruitful soils of the parable. However, unlike these individuals, if we are truly His we will bear at least some fruit, though to differing extents at different times of our lives. If our true desire is to get out of our current situation of reduced fruitfulness, that in itself is an assurance that we are the Lord’s and that in due time He will raise us up again.
Unbelievers are called to turn from their sin and lack of fruit and to trust Christ, who alone can make them spiritually productive as He desires.