Continuing on the parable of the sower we now look at the different soils. See Matthew 13:3 – 9; Mark 4:3 – 20
The parable of the sower shows how the soil affects the growth of the seeds. Christ was virtually saying to His hearers, “How do you treat My message? Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.”
Explaining the seed that fell by the wayside, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”
The seed sown by the wayside represents the Word of God as it falls upon the heart of the inattentive hearer. Like the hard-beaten path is the heart focused on the world’s pleasures and sins.
Absorbed in selfish aims and sinful indulgences, the soul is “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13. Men hear the Word but understand it not. They do not realize their need or their danger. They do not perceive the love of Christ, and they pass by the message of His grace as something that does not concern them.
As the birds catch up the seed from the wayside, so Satan catches away the seeds of divine truth from the soul. Satan knows that the Word of God may awaken the careless, and take effect upon the hardened heart. While angels of heaven endeavor to impress hearts with the Word of God, Satan tries to make the Word of no effect.
While Christ is drawing the soul by His love, Satan tries to turn away the attention of the one who is moved to seek the Saviour. Satan engages the mind with worldly schemes, excites criticism, or insinuates doubt and unbelief. The speaker’s choice of language or his manner may not please the hearers, and they dwell upon these defects. Thus the truth they need, and which God has graciously sent them, makes no lasting impression.
Satan has many helpers, including professed Christians who aid Satan to catch away the seeds of truth from other hearts. Many listen to the sermon and criticize at home. The message that should be regarded as the word of the Lord to them is dwelt upon with trifling or sarcastic comment.
The minister’s character, motives, and actions, and the conduct of fellow members of the church are freely discussed. Often these things are spoken by parents in the hearing of their own children. Thus destroying respect for God’s messengers, and reverence for their message. And so many are taught to regard lightly God’s Word itself.
Sadly, in the homes of professed Christians, many are educated to be infidels. And parents question why their children are so ready to doubt the truth of the Bible. They do not see that their own example has hardened the hearts of their children. The good seed finds no place to take root, and Satan catches it away.
“Adapted from Christ’s Object Lessons”