How are we to live? Jesus tells us in a very practical way.




Today we look at one of the most important parables of Jesus, the Parable of the Sower.








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The Parable of the Sower

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” 9 Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, ”‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 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. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” (Mark 4:1-20)



This, one of the best known and most important (for Jesus took the trouble to explain it's meaning) parables, contains a number of important truth's, not all of which can be explained here.

I would like to deal with but two, one today, one next week, of principles that are less understood.

Today, we see the lesson that is to be learned from the different types of ground in which the 'seed' of God's Word was sown.

Without delving into the different types of soil, the overall message is that all new Christians need to be nurtured in their faith in order to avoid falling by the wayside.

I have huge respect for evangelists, those who have the courage to go out and witness in the highways and byways and make 'converts' through the 'sinners prayer', which incidentally, is not found in the Bible, although the principles behind it are.

However, many 'count converts' by this method, while failing to understand the basic message of the Parable of the Sower. As the popular saying goes, 'there is many a slip twixt cup and lip'. Sadly, many studies have found that over 90% of conversions in crusades, etc., have failed 'to stick', for they have been planted in the wrong soil.

To understand this, it is necessary to look again at the 'Great Commission'. For there, Jesus did not say to go out and make 'converts', but rather, 'disciples'.


Matthew 28:16-20



What is involved here? FIRSTLY, we must 'go out'. That is what evangelists do so well. Whether it is out into the streets or travelling across the world, the infectious enthusiasm of the evangelist takes the message of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus, to many people.  



However, that is not all that is involved in obtaining a sound, long lasting conversion. For SECONDLY, we are required to make 'disciples' of people. Discipleship does not come through making a decision, but rather, through a complete change of lifestyle to one of becoming like Jesus.

To understand what Jesus means by discipleship, it is necessary to go back to the times in which He lived.

When a boy reached 13, he came into adulthood. The best and brightest would be chosen to become 'disciples' of one of the Rabbis of the day. They would follow the Rabbi round, imitating his every word and action. For their aim was become like the Rabbi.

Jesus is our rabbi. We are to become like Him. We may not be the best and brightest of the crop, but then, the disciples of Jesus were rejects from the Rabbis selection process also!



Discipleship requires both ongoing help and example, and, as we know ourselves, takes a lifetime. It is a process, not an event. So conversion without ongoing follow up is ineffective in maintaining over 90% of new believers in the faith.

THIRDLY, there is a requirement for baptism. Why? Not only because of the symbolism of burying the old life and taking on the new, but also, because it is a visible witness to others of a commitment made. An initial test of faith!



FOURTHLY, discipleship involves teaching the ways of Jesus. While the teachings we offer are good, the best form of discipling is on a one to one basis, where people can share their experiences personally and learn from one who has been through the challenges of walking with Jesus. 



FIFTHLY, and finally, the key to discipleship is learning to be obedient to God's commands. Need I say any more! We all need to repent for the times we have failed to do so! But I trust we are changing... 


2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV



There certainly is a need for our current approach to evangelism to be reconsidered. We must find ways to change a lip service commitment into a life changing experience. Discipling requires an intensive, time consuming, follow up process. Are we prepared to help the evangelist, through discipling, plant the seed in the good soil of the parable, producing a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown? 




..... as we continue our look at one of the most important parables of Jesus, the Parable of the Sower. 




I do hope that this teaching will give you a new insight into this, the best known of all the parables.

It is particularly poignant for me today, as I write this, for my mother went to be with Jesus 7 hours ago.

We need to build disciples for Jesus, not just get a non-lived out verbal commitment. Then we can be sure that we will meet them in heaven, as I will, my mum.


Mount of Olives

Olives Trees in Gethsemane

Adjacent to the Church of All Nations is an ancient olive garden. Olive trees do not have rings and so their age can not be precisely determined, but scholars estimate their age to anywhere between one and two thousand years old. It is unlikely that these trees were here in the time of Christ because of the report that the Romans cut down all the trees in the area in their siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:





7. The foolish reject God, the wise respect God, while the godly live for their God.

David Tait         




Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:



Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
Waxing Lyrical: http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php
If Only I'd Thought of it: http://www.wwj.org.nz/thought.php
Laughing at Ourselves: http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php




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