When asked by His Disciples why He spoke in parables, or stories, that were sometimes not easily grasped by all who heard them, Jesus responded that only those who truly desired and sought the meaning would find it. There would be those who heard but never cared to understand (never took root), those who tried to understand but soon gave up when they realized the cost to their lives (had no root), those who tried to understand but let other things rule their lives (smothered out by weeds) and those who understood and took the message to heart (took root and grew into a plant that produced fruit).
The Bible Exposition Commentary uses the following illustrations to further explain Jesus message in terms of the conditions of our hearts when we hear the Gospel message:
- Hard Heart - hears but resists the Word of God and opens up to all kinds of worldly influences which can harden the heart to truth. Satan quickly takes the message away for it will not root.
- Shallow Heart - hears but has no foundational understanding, the "emotional hearer" who in a moment of enthusiasm or exuberance over a message responds but has no idea of the cost and soon finds the cost more than they are willing to pay. There is no true "root", so although joyful at first it is short lived.
- Crowded Heart - hears but has so many lusts, priorities, desires in the heart that the message is soon pushed aside in pursuit of worldly things. The worries and things of this life quickly crowd out the Word.
- Fruitful Heart - hears the message and it takes root. The changed life of a true believer produces fruit. Serving God through any means is a driving force in their lives.
If you are reading this message, the condition of your heart is being tested. Don't allow you heart to be hard, shallow or crowded. As you read this God may be calling you right now to hear and receive His message and be fruitful. Or He may be reminding you of your present condition. Don't turn away, worry the cost or let other things crowd out His Call to you.
If you have not responded to the Gospel Call, admitted your sinful nature, realized your need to repent of your sins and asked God to save you from your sins and be Lord of your life do so now. Read the Bible and seek to learn God's word with others in a Christ centered Church. Be The Seed That Grows Into A Fruitful Plant.