In the Gospel of Mark we have, a parable given by Christ called the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9; 13-20). In the third chapter of Mark Jesus is being rejected in various capacities both by his family (Mark 3:21,31-35) and the religious leaders (Mark 3:22-30). The parable of the soils seems to give an explanation as to why there were was some rejection and confusion of Jesus. He has done many miracles in front of these groups such as healing the withered man’s hand (Mark 3:1-6) and he healed many diseases & demons (Mark 3:9-11). Despite this, he was not well received & flat out rejected due to the soil of their hearts. Some hearts were hearts that loved the temporal and deceitful things of this world (Mark 4:19) and other hearts did not fully receive Jesus, because their hearts were never transformed (Mark 4:17).
Another major force into Jesus being rejected was because the Jews at that time were expecting a political messiah that would come and free them from Roman oppression. Jesus was more of a spiritual messiah at the time because he was coming to die and suffer to set us free from the sting of death and hell. He was coming to bring peace between man and God. However, later on, Jesus will come to fully end evil as a political messiah. This confusion of the political versus spiritual messiah of Jesus is another reason why Jesus was rejected.
This political verses spiritual issue was largely a cultural challenge to understanding Jesus. The Jewish leaders at the time had largely forgotten scriptures like Isaiah 53 where the messiah is said to come and suffer for the sake of sin to reconcile man to God. We like the Jewish leaders and have wrong perspectives of God and wrong expressions of who Jesus is because of our culture and because of our hearts not being soft fertile ground. How is your heart today? Is it blinded by cultural beliefs of who the Savior is? Is it made up of a shallow understanding of Jesus that will crumble under challenges of faith and life? Is it a heart that is in love with the things of world and easily susceptible to falling into sin? If so your heart may not be on made up of fertile soil.
How do we know if our heart is made of fertile soil?
You let the Word of God judge your culture as opposed to your culture judge the Word of God– Many times our culture gets in the way and we lift up cultural thoughts and practices above what God says in his Word. Even Jewish leaders who visually saw Jesus’ miracles and heard with their own ears his teachings rejected him because of these cultural biases. Your heart is made up of fertile soil if you are letting the Word & Jesus himself judge your culture. Such a mindset is what makes up a heart made of fertile soil.
You ask questions of Jesus and of the Word– The disciples gathered around Jesus in Mark 4:10 to ask him questions about the Parable of the Soils. They were trying to get clarification. These questions led to Jesus confirming that they had been given the secrets of the kingdom of God (Mark 4:11). Their desire for more understanding and gaining of more understanding from Jesus showed that they had hearts of fertile soil. It is a good thing to ask questions of Jesus and of his Word assuming it comes from a place of genuine desire to know the Lord better and understand his Word. Such desires show that someone has a heart of fertile soil.
Other Points of Application:
Jesus is the Sower– One point of application that is very important to mention that Jesus is ultimately the sower of the seed (the gospel). We see that a little bit later in Matthew 13:37. He is the one that sends others to sow his seed of the gospel. It is not us that decide how we will receive the seed with a fertile soil heart. After all remember Jesus said that “To you has been GIVEN the secrets of the kingdom of God… (Mark 4:11). Therefore, pray that more hearts would receive the seed of the Sower on fertile ground. Ask Jesus to open hearts of those to hear the gospel and show themselves to producers of fruit.
Sow Everywhere– Since Jesus is ultimately the sower of the gospel we are not to question when and where we’re to sow his seed. We simply go as he tells us. We scatter the seed to everyone and we don’t worry about if they receive or reject Jesus we simply sow the seed. Some seed will land on rocky and thorny soil. Some seed will land on hard paths, however we’re simply to sow the seed. Don’t question where Jesus sends you, just go. Don’t say those peoples hearts are rocky, thorny, and hard path like. Instead, go and sow the seed. Jesus the sower will send the seed of his gospel to some receptive fertile soil hearts. Are you willing to go and spread the seed of his gospel anywhere?
This blog was all over the place with several points from the Parable of the Sower. However, I really want to ask you what kind of a heart do you have? A heart that is not made up of fertile soil will ultimately reject Jesus and stay in a realm of confusion. Look at your heart today and don’t let the things of this world and culture steer you away from seeing the true Savior. Judge yourself by the Word of God and ask Jesus to show you what kind of heart you truly have.