In Matthew 13-1-23, Jesus tells the parable of the sower then explains the parable to his disciples. In between the telling of the parable and the explanation, Jesus said, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him (13:12, NASB).” I think this is the key verse to understanding this parable and its importance to our life. It is about the “has” and “not haves.”
So what exactly is it that some have and some do not have? In this parable it is the type of soil that receives the word of God. As Jesus explains it, the haves are the ones who hear the word of God and understand it; the one “who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty (13:23).” What’s important here is the act of bearing fruit.
When Jesus said in verse 12, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance,” I believe the key here is the fertile soil. If you maintain fertile soil for the word of God, to sow the word of God in your heart and nurture it in the lives of others, you will bear fruit — in essence the fruit you bear gives you more “in abundance.” As Jesus said, “bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty (13:23).”
To maintain fertile soil for Christ Jesus to grow in our life, we must continue to hear and see the word of God as well as act on it (13:16-17). Maintaining fertile soil for the word of God requires us to be vigilant, to avoid becoming the soil of the “have nots:”
• The hardened soil of the road (13:19)
• The rocky soil where no firm root grows (20-21)
• The soil with thorns (19:22)
In all these cases, the word of God does not grow or withers away. There is no fruit, no abundance in God, no chance for the seed of God’s truth to multiply.
© 2020 CGThelen