There are some scriptures that can be misused and applied to private interpretation. A good example is the parable of Jesus commonly called, “The Sower and the Seed.” Refer to Mark 4:3-9. It is a simple story. A man owned land and wanted to grow produce on it. In those days they had to throw the seeds out my hand. As a result, the man sowing the seed could not be assured all of his efforts were successful because some of the seed fell where it should not.
Three areas where the seed fell could not successfully produce anything. Only the seeds that fell on good ground produced as it should. This parable was taken directly from farm life. In fact, Jesus may have been speaking to a group of people and looked up to see a farmer sowing seed.
Unfortunately, this passage can be taken out of context. The fruit could represent anything if a person chooses to do so. It could represent success. It could represent that other people cooperate with an individual’s efforts. It could even be applied to business.
The main point is that Jesus only had one interpretation. He explained in verses fourteen through twenty-two what he meant. The sower was sowing the word of God. Failure of the ground represents the poor response to the word. Notice that some of the seed feel on the wayside or a ditch and is described as Satan taking it away. Seed on stony areas did not take root. Jesus describes this as people who are afflicted or persecuted because of the word. We could say the stony area had the word in hand but not in heart.
Picture an area of the field that has good soil but was ravaged by weeds and thorns. Though this area had good potential but there was no success. Jesus gives three reasons for this. Some people have the cares of this world on her shoulders. Some people are enraptured by riches. Some people are lustful and desire what they should not legitimately own.
Only the ground free of all the other impediments could produce for the farmer. The success from that soil ranges.
Jesus gave this parable only to illustrate the propagation of God’s word and the potential results. To nothing else do these words elute. They should not be spiritualized. They should not be symbolized. They should not be privately standardized.
Let us take Jesus’ word for what it says and not for what we want it to say. Let us use it as a means of encouragement and spiritual enlightenment. No doubt he wanted his disciples to understand their singular responsibility was to offer the word of God.
In particular, a preacher must keep this parable in mind when he delivers his sermon. This is true when a person is witnessing to someone. The results could vary, but it is within the hearts of hearers that determines the response.