What Jesus Did! 'Choosing To Be Good Soil' — Matthew 13:23

Monday, June 26, 2017

"But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and makes fruit, sometimes 100 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 30 times more."
— Matthew 13:23
Illustration of Matthew 13:23 — "But what is the seed that fell on the good ground?

Key Thought

While much of the seed doesn't produce fruit, that which does is wildly productive. The key is the soil's receptivity and fertility. Jesus says this refers to the person's willingness to really listen and the gift of really understanding what he says. When a person really listens and is committed to be good soil, Jesus gives the gift of understanding, and growth and productivity come about naturally. Jesus' whole point in telling this parable is to not only explain why so many find their walk in Jesus unproductive, but also to drive home the point that each of us is responsible for how we hear his message. We determine our hearts' receptivity. If we want to be good soil, we can be. If our will is to seek after God's truth, we'll find it! God gives his blessing of understanding and productivity to those who diligently seek him in faith.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please share with me your wisdom so that I may know your truth. Give me understanding that I may live your will. Please forgive me for having been inattentive to your word in the past and unwilling to pay the price to learn your truth. I want to know your truth and be set free to live a productive life in your service. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. Then Jesus used stories to teach the people many things. Jesus said: "A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, it burned the plants. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain. Some plants made 60 times more, and some made 30 times more grain. You people that hear me, listen!" The followers came to Jesus and asked, "Why do you use these stories to teach the people?" Jesus answered, "Only you can know the secret truths about the kingdom of heaven. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. The person that has {some understanding} will be given more. And he will have even more than he needs. But the person that does not have {much understanding} will lose even the little {understanding} that he has. This is why I use these stories to teach the people: The people see, but they don't really see. The people hear, but they don't really understand. So these people show that the things Isaiah said about them are true: 'You people will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand. You people will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see. Yes, the minds of these people (the Jews) are now closed. They have ears, but they don't listen. And they refuse to see {the truth}. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they mightunderstand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed. But you are blessed. You understand the things you see with your eyes. And you understand the things you hear with your ears. I tell you the truth. Many prophets and good people wanted to see the things that you now see. But they did not see these things. And many prophets and good people wanted to hear the things that you now hear. But they did not hear these things. "So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer. What is the seed that fell by the path? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One (the devil) comes and takes away the things that were planted in that person's heart. And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and quickly and gladly accepts that teaching. But that person does not let the teaching go deep into his life. He keeps that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching he accepted, then he quickly quits. And what is the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching but lets worries about this life and love for money stop that teaching from growing. So the teaching does not make fruit {in that person's life}. But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and makes fruit, sometimes 100 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 30 times more."

Matthew 13:1-23

Related Scripture Readings

Since the day we heard these things about you, we have continued praying for you. We pray these things for you: that you will know fully the things that God wants; that with your knowledge you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things; that you will use these things to live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way; that you will do all kinds of good things and grow in the knowledge of God; that God will strengthen you with his own great power; that God will strengthen you, so that you will be patient and not quit when troubles come. Then you will be happy and give thanks to the Father. He has made you able to have the things he prepared for you. He has prepared these things for all his people who live in the light (good).

Colossians 1:9-12

Because you have these blessings, you should try as much as you can to add these things to your life: to your faith add goodness; and to your goodness add knowledge; and to your knowledge add self-control; and to your self-control add patience; and to your patience add service for God; and to your service for God add kindness for your brothers and sisters {in Christ}; and to this kindness for your brothers and sisters add love. If all these things are in you and they are growing, then these things will help you to never be useless. These things will help you to never be worthless in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:5-8

Without faith, a person cannot please God. Any person who comes to God must believe that God is real. And any person who comes to God must believe that God rewards those people who truly want to find him.

Hebrews 11:6

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.