“A Sower Went Out to Sow!” #3

Sermon Notes (Sunday October 11th, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor


A Sower Went Out to Sow!” #3

Jeremiah 4:1-4; Matthew 13:1-9

One of the best-known parables that Jesus spoke was the parable of the sower. This parable has been the topic of my teaching on Sunday mornings over the last few weeks. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, in Matthew chapter 13 Jesus describes a scene that is very familiar to His audience: A sower went out to sow grain in his field. The seed falls on four different types of ground: (1) the wayside (2) stony ground (3) among thorns and (4) on good ground. As Jesus privately interpreted later to His disciples, each type of ground represents a different category of person who hears the Word of God at some point in his or her life. Each responds differently.


The last two Sundays we covered the first two types of soil ~ the hard soil and the stony soil. This morning I would like to explore the third category, the seed that fell among thorns, and look at what we can learn from it. In Matthew 13:7 we read: “And some fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it and it yielded no fruit.”


Other Seed Fell among Thorns

What did Jesus mean by the “seed that fell among thorns”? Fortunately, Jesus gives us the meaning of this part of the parable down in Matthew 13:22 where He says: “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” In Mark’s account Jesus highlights three things as thorns that might choke the word: 1) the cares of this world 2) the deceitfulness of riches and 3) the desires for other things.


The seeds fell among thorns represent the people who are attracted to the gospel message but they never get around to getting serious. They are so distracted by other things that they never fully and wholeheartedly respond to the truth of the gospel. It’s like the girl to which a young man once proposed. He said, “Darling, I want you to know that I love you more than anything else in the world. I want you to marry me. I’m not rich. I don’t have a yacht or a Rolls Royce like Johnny Brown, but I do love you with all my heart.” She thought for a minute and then replied, “I love you with all my heart, too, but tell me more about Johnny Brown.” These people have a divided heart. They love their boyfriend but still want to know about Johnny Brown. These people know they need spiritual life, but unwilling to commit to Christ. Jesus tells us that these people eventually drift away. They want to walk on both the broad road and the narrow road. They want to pursue the things of the world and the things of God. But we cannot do both.


The Gospel is Choked

As Jesus privately explained the meaning of the parable to His disciples, He highlights three reasons the gospel is choked: the worries and cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things.


  1. The Worries and Cares of this Life ~ Materialism

The worries and cares of this life suffocate the seed of God’s Word. These are literally the worries, anxieties and distractions of this present life that hold captive our hearts and minds to the extent that there is no room for God in our lives; no room to consider, ponder, receive and give priority to things eternal. These things dominate our attention and time. They become the focus of our lives and eventually choke the word of God and keep it from producing the desired results in our lives. These present-day cares seem so innocently legitimate; yet, the preoccupation with them obstructs the entrance of the gospel into these care-filled hearts. In Luke 12:31 Jesus gave the antidote to overcome this world’s cares when He advised, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

  1. The Deceitfulness of Riches

That’s a very powerful statement. Riches are deceiving. They promise satisfaction which they can not and do not bring. Wealth says to us, “I’ll give you happiness. The more you have, the happier you will be.” Many people are so persuaded by that. But it is a big lie. Some of the richest people in the world are the most miserable. Jesus described riches as deceitful because they fail to give true and lasting happiness, comfort and security to their pursuers. They promise much but satisfy little. They are deceptive. They do not satisfy the true need of the soul. Riches can become the focus of our lives and attention and will in so doing choke the word of God and keep it from accomplishing what God wants it to do in our lives. Yes, it is true that riches are not evil in themselves, but they certainly have the power to deceive. They occupy the heart to the extent that there is no room for the Word of Christ. The preaching goes over our heads. We don’t see our need for the Savior. And the Word bears no fruit in our hearts and lives.


  1. The Desires for other things

The gospel of Mark adds another reason. In Mark 4:19 we read, “But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Jesus is talking about lustful desire. Some of these desires are sinful. Yield to sinful desires will certainly rob us of our spiritual vitality. But I would add that even God-given desires and pleasures can choke out our spiritual lives if not kept in moderation. A hobby or interest in sports can be good and acceptable, but if you are spending more time with those things than with the Lord, and serving Him, then you will be unfruitful as a Christian. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:10, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” The love the of this world, and the things of this world, caused Demas to become unfruitful.


Friends, the seeds of the gospel can be easily choked in our lives and God’s voice can be easily muted. I am grateful this morning for the gift of the Scriptures. I am grateful for God’s reminders. Jesus warns us against the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things. Friends, I invite us this morning to examine our lives least the seeds of God’s Word fall among the thorns. The Prophet Jeremiah exhorts us in Jeremiah 4:3 saying, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.” May be it is time to put more attention to your spiritual life and your walk with the Lord. May be it is time to clear the thorns in your life so that you leave a room for God’s seed to grow up and produce fruit. As we do so, may the good result described in Colossians 1:10 be manifest in God’s people: “…that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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