The Most Important Parable in the Bible
One of the most significant factors in determining importance of a subject is the amount of time or attention which the author devotes to it. Thus, as for the names of the Lord God, the longest which is found in Exodus 34:6-7 is among and possibly the most important; as it contains 56 words in the King James Version. Although in Hebrew, ‘the Lord’ is one word – Yahweh; also ‘and’ is not used or other simple prepositions, thus, there are 37 words used in the Hebrew Bible. It is not a candidate for most important because it leaves out “the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and awesome (a terrible, a terror), which regards no persons, nor takes a bribe (Deut. 10:17),” or because it leaves out, ‘the Lord God the Almighty (Rev. 21:22),’ or ‘the Lord God omnipotent (Rev. 19:6),’ or the ‘Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13),’ or even ‘King of the Universe (Hebrew Prayers).’ It is because it reveals more of His attributes, as well as incite to His way and judgments than any other.
Likewise, the most likely two most important sermons of Jesus in the Bible, were both given on the Mount of Olives, to which He shall return according to the prophets and an angel. The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ refers most always to the ‘Sermon of the Beatitudes (Matthew chapters 5-7)’ or ‘blessings.’ Eight ‘beatitudes’ (‘blessed are’) are taught in this sermon, which is the longest sermon teaching of Jesus in the Bible. The second longest sermon, also on the same mount, is on Eschatology or the last days, addressing the ‘coming of the Lord’ and the ‘end of the world (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21).’ In these two sermons are some of the most important lessons and prophecies taught by Jesus Christ.
Now, when seeking the most important ‘Parable,’ several come into the light. The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lost Son, ‘Two sons) is said to be 391 words in the Greek New Testament, or 507 in the King James New Testament. However, it is only found in Luke (15:11-32), and though it is a very important lesson on sin and forgiveness; it does not give answers to eschatological (end times) questions as the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, which is found in Matthew chapter 13. This is a most important chapter as it contains several parables and a candidate for the most important; which is this author’s choice.
Likewise, the Parable of the Good Samaritan is only found in Luke, but is one of the most important. It provides many lessons on the law and way of Christ, including the two great commandments; as well as questions relating to our eternal salvation and Who is my neighbor?
The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25) is one of the longest in the bible, and if you include the attached related lesson and conclusion of Christ’ lesson, it is about 800 words, which would make it the longest. It is a most important parable because it speaks of heaven and hell, angels and demons, judgment and our accountability to God and that both our belief and works are important; for ‘every one of us shall give an account of ourselves to God (Rom. 14:12; Matt. 12:36; 16:27; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Pet. 4:5; Rev. 20:12). However, the Parable of Talents is not found in the Gospels of Mark or John.
The Parable of the Faithful Servant deserves recognition because it is found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and also the Didache and gnostic Gospel of Thomas. It follows Jesus eschatological Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 and warns us to ‘watch’ and be sober for His return. Luke includes it (chapter 12) near Christ’s warning of confessing Him publicly before mankind (Luke 12:8; also note: Matt. 10:28-33) and warning against ‘greed,’ and as He speaks of ‘treasure.’ The short parable gives a stern admonish for watching for His return, being ready (which whispers of ‘righteousness’) and service to the Master which is at the heart of the Torah (Deut. 10:12).
Now, it is this servant’s opinion that the Parable of the Sower is the most important in the Bible. First, it is put forth by Matthew, Mark and Luke, as well as found spoken of in the First Epistle of Clement (1 Clem 24:5) and the gnostic Gospel of Thomas (9). Second, if you include the related lesson verses it is approximately 500 words in the KJV in Matthew. Third, and more significantly, it teaches the most important lesson – that of the topic of Salvation – and specifically, the importance of the Word of God and the battles that take place.
The Parable of the Sower
Lockyer, in his All the Parables of the Bible states that Arnot’s commentary displays the Sower in ‘the relation of the kingdom to different classes of men;’ Lockyer adds that some commentators ‘try to use the Lord’s parables in Matthew 13 in parallel form, with the seven Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount…. And there are those writers who… connect (them) …with the Seven Churches of Asia in Revelation.’ He continues, stating ‘we fail to understand why so many expositors do not see that the chapter before us contains eight parables… the longest …The Sower, which carries with it an explanation.’
Some say Jesus spoke 30 recorded parables; Dakes in the ‘Cyclopedic Index’ portion of his Bible translation offers 70 in the gospels. The bible was not written by men in English literature chapter form, but in more of a scroll or letter form by men as ‘moved by the Holy Spirit.’ The depth of knowledge and understanding to be gained by the parable of the Sower is not in some numerical Midrash, but it the simple words of Jesus Christ and the related verses.
Examining and ‘Dividing the Word’
Due to the fact that Matthew writes the longest version of this lesson or Parable of the Sower, we will look at it and include Mark and Luke where they offer different incite. Also, I will break down the Parable into sections to better handle it.
Section One: Introduction and Audience
Jesus had gone out of the house where He and His chosen 12 disciples where staying. Christ sat by the sea and a ‘great multitude gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat, as the whole multitude stood on the shore (Matt. 13:1-2).
“Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow…’ (13:3) ‘seed,’ the seed fell in four (4) different types of places.
Jesus speaks the Parable before a multitude of men in need of His salvation; and the Lord God desires that all would hear and understand, but it is His disciples that come and specifically ask for the purpose and meanings.
Now I have heard some foolish prosperity televangelists and their circle of influence state, even in person at my former church, that ‘the seed’ is ‘MONEY.’ I am not sure how close this is to blasphemy, but it is deception and not of the Spirit of Truth. Although, ‘giving’ and ‘tithe’ and charity has a place in the church; it is never above the Word – who and which at its essence guides the Way of Salvation. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus explicitly states, as recorded by Luke, “The SEED is the Word of GOD (Luke 8:11).”
But who is the sower? Well we who follow Christ and profess His gospel are sowers, but later in chapter 13, in the Parable of the Tares, Matthew states, ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man (v. 37; see Dan. 7:13; Matt. 26:64; Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:13),’ and His ‘field is the world (v. 38).’ Though in that parable the seed, formerly the ‘word’ in the Sower has now grown into ‘sons of the kingdom’ and is among ‘tares,’ who equally have a chance to hear and receive the word of God and the Son of God and thus His Spirit, but they give themselves over to be ‘sons of the wicked one’ – the devil (13:38; see also Rev. 12:9) ‘who deceives’ the world. And how humans become sons of God or sons of the devil is revealed in the Parable of the Sower.
Section Two: the Parable Portion to the Multitudes
The following is from Matthew 13:3-9 with the inclusion of portions of Mark and Luke: “Behold (‘Listen! Behold’ – Mark 4:3), a sower went out to sow. And as He sowed, some seed fell by the wayside (‘path’ NIV; ‘road’ NASB; ‘roadside’); (‘and it was trampled down’ – Luke 8:5) and the birds (‘of the air’ – Mark 4:4; NJV) came and devoured them (‘it’). Some fell (‘on rock’ – Luke 8:6) on stony places (‘ground’), where they did not have much earth. [‘As soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture (water)’ – Luke 8:6] But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them (‘it and it yielded no crop’ – Mark 4:7). But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Luke omits 60 and 30 fold; Mark says 30, 60 and 100). He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Section Three: the Shema
In Hebrew, ‘Sh’ma or Shema’ means hear or listen. The Shema Yisrael in Deuteronomy 6:4 is so sacred to the Jews that it is part of their daily prayers. The Shema in Deut. 10:12-13 contain the heart of the Torah. The Shema is often said as a command; but as the Lord tells us in Revelation, ‘Blessed are they …who hear the words…’ Moreover, in the same Spirit, Jesus says, ‘he who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ And this is what is said to the Churches in Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). The Lord again says, listen and ‘behold (Rev. 3:20);’ and you will learn a very important message and truths.
Section Four: The Purpose of Parables
Matthew writes: “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said, ‘Because it has been given to you (My disciples) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see …and hear …Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matt. 13:14-15).’
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Luke only says from the prophet, “And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’
Mark writes, “But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that, ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them’.”
Though Isaiah did use the word ‘heal’ here; in chapter one he cries out, ‘Listen!’ ‘…my people do not understand; woe to the sinful nation …whose guilt is great… children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord… turned their backs on Him… Why do you persist in rebellion… you whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted (need healing – spiritually)… stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me (says the Lord)… when you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide My eyes from you… you hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight; stop doing wrong (see Gen. 4:7; Ezek. 18; Gal. 5:19-23; etc.). Learn to do right; seek justice (see Micah 6:8). Defend the oppressed… the fatherless and widow (Deut. 10:18).’ ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow… if you are willing and obedient… but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured…’ (Isa. 1).”
This parable is very much about sinning and forgiveness; obedience and rebellion; and righteousness and salvation.
Section Five: Explanation of the Parable and Classes of Mankind
The very name of God as recorded by Moses (Exodus 34:6-7) is “The Lord, the Lord, merciful (compassionate) and gracious, longsuffering (slow to anger), and abundant in goodness and truth (faithfulness), keeping mercy (love) for thousands, forgiving iniquity (wickedness) and transgression (rebellion) and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty (not leave the guilty unpunished); visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” In His name reveals three types of sin: Sin (free willful sin – see Heb. 10:26), trespass (rebellion, crossing the line), iniquity (evil wickedness), and forgiveness unto righteousness. Likewise in the Parable of the Sower is three classes of sinners and one of righteousness. Thus, we shall examine the lesson in this manner.
By the Wayside
|“Therefore hear the parable of the Sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside (Matt. 13:18-19).”
“And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts (Mark 4:13-15).”
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (Luke 8:11-12).”
a. Notice this class of people ‘hear the word;’ the gospel.
b. Some people ‘do not understand it’ – thus, ‘many (Matt. 7:13)’ ‘perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).’ And telling His disciples, ‘how will you understand all the other parables’ shows both the significance of this parable as being paramount; and the entire or holistic nature or environment in which we live: on an earth (with its soil) where our Father in Heaven; ‘the Lord our God’ [יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ (YHWH/Y_hv_h/Yahweh/Yehovah/Jehovah) Eloheinu; Deut. 6:4] and Sower – sows or sends forth His word (Holy Scriptures and commands) ‘at various times and in various ways speaking in the times past to our ancestors by the prophets, and in these last days to us by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2);’ ‘the Light’ and ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Salvation’ – Yehoshua HaMashiach (Yeshua Ha Mashiach) “God our Savior/Salvation – the Anointed (sent) One,” Who taught and sent forth His disciples to make ‘followers of Christ/Christians’ and send them ‘into all the world to preach the gospel’ to others. And the Holy Spirit – ‘the Spirit of Truth’ will ‘teach all things (John 14:26; 15:26)’ to these if they desire it. So the word in sowed in this environment; but also in the environment is ‘the deceiver,’ the ‘evil one’ and demons and Doctrines of Demons who come and not only ‘seek to devour (1 Peter 5:8)’ and to ‘kill and destroy (John 10:10)’ the people of the earth; but to ‘steal (John 10:10)’ the very word/seed before it can ‘planted and watered (1 Cor. 3:6)’ and thus, grow and flourish ‘like a tree planted by streams (Psa. 1:3)’ and ‘rivers/fountains of living water (John 4:14; 7:38; Rev. 22:1-).’
d. By the ‘evil one,’ ‘Satan,’ the ‘devil’ – see Rev. 12:9
e. Thus, the Lord teaches us to pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matt. 6:13, NIV).” Likewise, the Lord prays, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one (John 17:15, NIV).”
f. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in you heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).”
g. Thus, for this case the devil and his wicked ones – demons – are able to tempt or sway or deceive or harden the hearts – so that this class of individuals do not ‘believe’ or have ‘faith’ that Jesus is Lord and that His blood and resurrection can bring us eternal life and salvation.
h. “Broad is the way (wayside; road; path) that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).”
i. So they are NOT SAVED – this class received no and has NO SALVATION.
On Stony ground or rock
|“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles (Matt. 13:20-21).”
“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble (Mark 4:16-17).”
“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away (Luke 8:13).”
a. Stony place or rocky ground – poor ground not good for growth or harvest.
b. Thus the Lord says, ‘break up your unplowed (hard; fallow) ground (Hosea 10:12).”
c. Yet, this class of humans ‘hear the word and’ ‘RECEIVE IT with joy.’
d. There is a fair argument that they gain ‘the joy of …salvation (Psalm 51:12).’
e. They ‘endure;’ but only temporary ‘for a while.’ They do not ‘endure hardship as discipline (Heb. 12:7);’ nor ‘endure temptation (James 1:12);’ and thus, do not ‘endure to the end (Matt. 24:13).’
f. Thus, they had ‘joy and peace in believing (Rom. 15:13),’ but did not endure and most unlike David do not pray, Lord ‘restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to obey you, to sustain me (Psa. 51:12).’
g. And why, because ‘when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word’ of God, they ‘immediately stumble.’
h. Many of them know ‘blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness… (Matt. 5:10);’ or ‘for Christ name sake,’ even that these are promised ‘the kingdom of heaven;’ yet, some this class of individuals here when ‘hated’ ‘for Jesus name’s sake’ do not ‘endure to the end (Matt. 10:21, 22) but rather ‘fear those who kill the body… rather than God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28).’
i. Some are ‘cowards and unbelievers and idolaters and liars… and shall have their part in the lake with burns with fire… (Rev. 21:9).’
j. Some of them have heard and some even believe ‘who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or persecution or famine…(Rom. 8:35);’ but when they are not rescued at the point of stress or great pressure, before the point of death; they forget or are ignorant that for many of us and most in the great tribulation… ‘for Christ sake we face death all day long… many are killed all day long; and we are considered as sheep for the slaughter (Rom. 8:36).’
|k. There will be a time in the last days that our ‘fellowservants will be killed (Rev. 6:11)’ during the ‘great tribulation.’ For ‘the dragon – the devil and his demons – will make war with the saints of Jesus, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17).’ Even those ‘slain for the word of God… and their testimony (Rev. 6:9).’
l. These have ‘no root’ – no ‘root of Jesse’ – no ‘root of David’ – of Jesus Christ (Isa. 11:1; Matt. 1; Rev. 5:5).’ No root in good soil.
m. They ‘believe for a while’ – the have faith in Jesus like many of the 500; ‘many of His disciples turned back and did not follow Him (John 6:66).’
n. And ‘immediately’ because they have no good solid foundation in the Word and Spirit of God. They are easily moved.
o. They ‘fall to temptation’ as James says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (J 1:14,15).”
Among the Thorns
|“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful (Matt. 13:22).”
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).”
“Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity (Luke 8:14).”
a. These class ‘hears the word’ as all the others, but are unfruitful; for the Lord says, “all day long I have stretched out My hands to them, but they were disobedient and obstinate (Isa. 65:2; Rom. 10:21; Pro. 1:24)” “I spoke to them but they did not listen (Jer. 35:17).” “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2).” And so “God… gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life… and so the Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil (John 3:16-20).” And “The Light shined into the darkness; yet the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:5).”
b. This class ‘heard’ and dwelled among us briefly; some even ‘abided in the vine (John 15:4)’ for ‘a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, except’ it ‘abide in’ Christ Jesus and the Spirit of God. But these individuals; once the ‘go out’ – that is ‘go out’ into the world and are met by the temptations and general nature of the world and schemes of the evil ones (John 17:5); leaving from ‘dwelling in the shelter of the Most High… in the shadow of the Almighty (Psa. 91:1),’ they ‘conform to the pattern of the world’ (Rom. 12:1).’
c. That is they ‘conform’ to the weaknesses and failures of those who fall in the world. This class hears the truth, but go out without ‘the armor of God (Eph. 6);’ many not ‘sober or vigilant;’ unprepared for the ‘adversary the devil …who goes about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8).’ These ‘people no longer listen to sound doctrine; but seek their desires (2 Tim. 4:3).’ So they are they are overcome by ‘deceptive spirits and teachings of demons (1 Tim. 4:1).’ They are ‘heard’ but do not “let their roots grow down into the foundation of Jesus Christ… so their faith will grow strong in the truth… (rather they are taken) captive through empty deceit and deceptive philosophy, according to the tradition of men and human thinking and according to the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ (Col. 2:7-8).” Thus they ‘hear the words of Christ… (but do not) build their houses on the Rock. And the rain (of the world) fell and the (the enemy comes in like a flood – Isa. 59:19) floods came, and the winds (of adversity) blew and beat on their houses… and because they were built on the (sinking and shifting) sand it fell, and great was the fall of it (Matt. 7:24-27).’ ‘Great’ because it is a matter of eternal salvation.
d. And what specifically causes these to fall and to not become fruitful – thus be cut from the vine? The disciples name these things: the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the desire for other things, and the pleasures of life.
e. “The cares of the world” come upon them and they are unable to ‘cast their cares upon the Lord so that He alone sustains them (Psalms 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).’ Christ says, ‘come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28);’ but they do not. They are burdened, stressed and depressed by moods that affect their appetite, sleep and energy. Many have cares due to debt; and debt often due to excessive desires or poor choices; many have not taken care of their bodies and suffer problems; many are in abusive homes or have failed relationships and or divorce and these things weigh them down; some are old and have lost loved ones and can’t overcome anxiety. And a hundred other cares our adversity seeks to place upon us. DEPRESSION: Disease, Disorder, Choice and or spirit
f. “The deceitfulness of riches” puts forth a false image of success or fulfillment; yet the ‘love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10),’ at least for most; and it is directly related to coveting or covetiveness of others things or it is ‘love of things of the world (1 John 2:15). Most in this class ‘lay up for themselves treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19);’ and more so most serve ‘mammon’ or love the accumulation of wealth at almost any cost, and thus do not ‘serve God (Matt. 6:24).’ This class would rarely ever pray, “give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only portion (my daily bread). Lest, I have too much and disown You Lord… or that I may become poor and steal and thus dishonor the name of My God (Prov. 30:8-9).”
g. The desire for the things of the world according to the apostle John include, “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life… (1 John 2:16).” Such desires led to “sexually immorality, adultery, greed, theft, idolatry, hatred, discord, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, envy and the like… for which those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).”
h. The pleasures of life are not speaking of ‘the pleasures forever (Psa. 16:11)’ through the Lord, or ‘His peace which passes all understanding,’ here Christ speaks of desires for worldly pleasures which like idolatry are placed above the love for the Lord or will of God or even worshiping God and Christ Jesus. Many in this class of individuals put television or video games or hobbies or sports ahead of the will of God and any thought to Him. Some always prefer their food or interest above caring for another soul or their neighbor or the lost or widow or orphan.
i. Thus, this class of individuals become unfruitful and brings no fruit to maturity, and they also are cut from the vine of Christ and His salvation. (For an exhaustive look at how we are influenced: SOURCES of INFLUENCE)
On GOOD Ground
|“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matt. 13:23).”
“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred (Mark 4:20).”
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).”
a. This class ‘hears the word’ and ‘understands it;’ and loving the Lord and the words of His prophets and apostles they continue in the ‘doctrine of Christ… going on unto perfection (righteousness; understanding) …repentance from dead works (of the flesh; having) faith toward God (Heb. 6:1).’ They understand and believe in the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment as elementary teachings of Jesus and His disciples. They love the ‘milk of the word’ but desire soon after ‘meat.’
b. And what is the good ground and what makes it good? It has ‘Living Waters’ so that they do not ‘lack moisture.’ The Scriptures say, ‘He who believes in Christ Jesus… shall have ‘rivers of living water (John 7:38).’ Waters which flow even from ‘the throne of God and of the Lamb… causing the yielding of fruit (Rev. 22:1).’
c. It has ‘fertile good soil beside the abundant waters, that (also aids in) yielding fruit (Ezek. 17:8).’ And its soil is on a foundation of good sound doctrine.
d. It root is grafted into the Holy One and spiritual root.
e. Members of this class grow like ‘oaks of righteousness (Isa. 61:3).’
f. They ‘fear God and obey His commands (Eccl. 12:13).’
g. They ‘love the Lord’ and desire to ‘serve Him’ and ‘walk in His ways (Deut. 10:12-13).’
h. They desire to ‘worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).’
i. They did not simply float down on some personally predestinated preserved and reserved good ground as a few might think. But as they were given grace and mercy; a measure of faith and a consciousness to ‘see clearly… God’s creation and …eternal power and Godhead (Rom. 1:20),’ they believed and confessed Jesus.
j. Nevertheless, as Calvin warned in his commentary on Hebrews and the apostle said (10:26), “if we (this class are any righteous or unrighteous – see Ezek. 18) go on willfully sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains (the blood) sacrifice (to atone) for the sins, but an awful and terrifying judgment.”
k. Yet, this class desires and does the ‘will of the Father (Matt. 12:50; John 6:40).’
l. Like wise men they do works to ‘saves souls (Prov. 11:30).’
m. They bear good spiritual fruit of the Spirit, even ‘fruit of …love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).’
n. The ‘bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).’
o. The ‘keep the word;’ ‘holding steadfast’ to hope and truth, and the knowledge of salvation.
p. They ‘endure’ with ‘patience.’
q. And those among them ‘who endure to the end shall be saved’ and ‘receive the crown of eternal life.’