Preparing the Soil

by Robert Morris

“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.”

Matthew 13:23

It Is Written

What kind of soil do you have? That may sound like a strange question, but it’s actually a question about your heart. We’ve spent some time talking about the parable of the sower who scatters seed on different types of ground. Notice in today’s verse Jesus uses the term “good ground” to describe the person who hears and understands the Word of God. In Mark’s version, Jesus says the good ground represents “those who hear the word [and] accept it” (Mark 4:20). And, in Luke’s version, Jesus says the good ground represents those who hear the Word and “keep it” (Luke 8:15).

Did you notice the parable of the sower actually stays focused more on the ground? Earlier in the parable, Jesus talks about seeds that fall on stony and thorny ground and how those plants withered and didn’t bear fruit. Luke 8:15 shows us that the ground is actually a metaphor for the heart: “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.” He’s saying that when we have a good heart, God’s Word can do its work in us, and we can bear fruit.

What’s the state of your heart? Is your soil ready for the Word of God? We have to be careful that we don’t let our hearts get hardened. In fact, Luke 8:5 says the birds of the air, which represent demons throughout the Bible, will come and devour the seed that was sown. What this means is we won’t see real change in our lives until we prepare our hearts to receive the Word.

That’s one of the reasons we begin our services with praise and worship. When you’re in God’s presence, things like pride and pain are stripped away and your heart softens. Telling God how much you love Him opens your heart so you can receive what His Word has to say.

I want the Word to take root in me and bear fruit, don’t you? Over the next few days, we’re going to dig into how we can keep a good heart so we can plant God’s Word inside of us.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for Your Word. Give me a soft, pliable heart so that I can understand Your Word and allow it to bear fruit in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For Further Study

  • Matthew 13:3–9; Hebrews 3:8–11
Matthew 13:3–9; Hebrews 3:8–11
Robert Morris
Matthew 13:23