Jesus tells us that some hear the message of the Kingdom and understand it (Mt.13:23). As mentioned in my earlier post on Mt.23:19, the Greek word here that has been translated as “understand” is “syniemi” which means to comprehend, be wise and to act piously as a good and upright person. These dear ones are Christ-followers who are not only faithful but also fruitful.
The message of the Kingdom is never just about FAITHFULNESS but also FRUITFULNESS. James tells us, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (Jas.2:18) Paul says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.“ (Eph.2:10)
Peter urges us, “5 For this very reason, MAKE EVERY EFFORT to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2Pet.1:5-7)
If a teacher or preacher tells you that Christians should just rest in God, enjoy Him and should never feel like we have to make any effort do stuff for God, serve God and be fruitful, that’s a lie. Believing in such a lie would make us unfruitful. Jesus cautioned His disciples, “He [My Father] cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (Jn.15:2) Jesus wants us not only to be fruitful, but increasingly fruitful.
It is clear that fruitfulness matters in God’s Kingdom, thus Jesus concludes the Parable of the Sower saying that the one who hears the message of the Kingdom and understands it is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Some do not realise that being faithful to God is also about being faithful and fruitful in doing Kingdom work. As a result, there are many unfruitful people in the church who are mere pew warmers. They enjoy all the wonderful feelings they feel when they are in church but they leave with no sense of God’s mission in the world and they are unproductive. The devil has them exactly where he wants them – complacent, crippled and barren.
Thus, the Parable of the Sower serves as a good reminder and warning to us so that we would live as faithful and fruitful sons and daughters of God, mindful that we are also called to be servants and slaves of the Master who will one day be called to account for how we have lived as believers and judged accordingly. This is a tough parable to hear but it is the Word of God intended to bring about change in our lives. So let’s hear and understand it.
Mt.13:23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”