Let’s continue our discussion about fruitfulness and vision with the thorny and the good soils!
3. The thorny soil is similar to the rocky soil. Both soils are not really even ideal for sowing. Yet, Jesus was clear to say that the word fell upon that ground. Since we have no idea which soil each person is, we sow the seed to everyone. The thorny soil represents the soulish person. They are entirely governed by their mind, will, emotions. They seek after temporal pleasures and possessions. They worry because they have no faith. They pursue wealth because they don’t see eternally. The word becomes choked out by the earthly desires. The picture here is literally of the world system drowning out the Spirit with worries, lusts, and the desires of this world. The result: no fruit is produced.
- Note: both the rocky soil and thorny soil are deceptive because there is a “potential” for fruit. In other words, they have the appearance that they are actually going to produce fruit. The ultimate sign of fruit is . . . actual fruit. I would go so far as to say this is the soil of the lukewarm. They grow fast, they grow through the rocks and the thorns, but only to wither away due to shallowness and carnality.
4. The good soil! Thank God for the good soil. Whereas 75% of the soil the seed is thrown on represents zero fruit, the good soil represents 30-, 60-, and 100-fold returns. They hear the word. They accept the word. They patiently produce a harvest!
- The word “accept” or “receive” literally means to take on as one’s own. That is the essence of the Gospel. Take this Gospel on as your own. Go and make disciples like it depends solely on you! The interesting part of the good soil is this: it may have rocks in it, it may have some thorny plants, it may even be located near a pathway. The good soil, however, has been tended well by it’s owner. Somebody has made sure that the rocks and thorns didn’t overtake it – this is a continual job! Somebody has made sure that the soil was in a place to receive the right amount of sunlight (basking in the word) and water (saturating in the presence). The good soil is the result of focused work! The result is 100x fruit.
The bottom line of this parable is this: qualify the soil. Ask yourself this question, which soil am I? If you are producing fruit, in the form of disciples, you are good soil. If you are not producing any disciples, what changes can you make in your life to produce fruit?