I have the red letter bible edition where it shows everything Jesus said in red letters. In one of the passages these words were red and it seem to not only stress out this was important since Jesus said it, but because it indicates that the understanding of the other parables depend on your understanding of this specific one.
The essential parable is this Parable of the Sower: read Mark 4:13:
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
Jesus said in Matthew 18:16 “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”. So I took Matthew’s and John’s accounts to join with Mark’s. Its remarkable how these 3 are a jigsaw puzzle trio that ties seamlessly with each other (talk about precept upon precept, line upon line). Take note of the use of ‘hear’, ‘receive’, ‘understand’ and ‘keep’ in all accounts. I did a little comparative study of these accounts to see the whole message…and more.
a.) What is the seed sown?: It’s God’s word, the true preserved inerrant Bible.
Mark 4:14 “The sower soweth the word.”
Matthew 13 – embedded ‘word’ in next verses
Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
b.) Receiving seed by the wayside: heard it, didn’t understand it, devil sweeps down and takes the word away
Mark 4:15 “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
Matthew 13:19 “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. This is he which received seed by the way side.”
Luke 8:12 “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”
c.) Receiving seed on stony/ rocky ground: heard it, joyful about it, but lack root, affliction, persecution, temptation against the word arise causes the falling away
Mark 4:16 -17 “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; | And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.”
Matthew 13:20-21 “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; | Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
Luke 8:13 “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
d.) Receiving seed among thorns: heard it, but worldly cares, riches, pleasures and lusts choke the word, no fruit
Mark 4:18-19 “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, |And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Matthew 13:22 “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Note: Thorns from both accounts can be summarized as: a.) Cares of this world, b.) deceitfulness of riches and c.) lusts of other things. All of which describes the Love of the World-see this related message. This also relates to Abiding in the Lord – see this related message
e.) Receiving seed on Good Ground: in an honest and good heart…hearing it, keeping it, enduring the fight and bearing good fruit
Mark 4:20 “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
Matthew 13:23 “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Luke 8:15 “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The crux of the matter:
The essential parable…the parable of the sower is really a lesson on hearing…Luke writes Jesus’ words in Luke 8:18..
Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
As a summary to the whole parable, the verse explains that though its important to be able to hear God’s word, the keeping of them (His Words) in our hearts, even hiding it to prevent it from being snatched away is VERY important. David says in Psalms 119:11 …
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
…its far more important for if we do this, patiently we shall bear fruit with it. And much more will be added. Not worldly things but precious heavenly things that were promised by the Lord – Matthew says in his book Chapter 6 verse 33…
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
…otherwise, those things that you didn’t keep and may just have heard would be taken away so you wont have anything at all (nada!).
Luke 8 verse 15 confirms we are in good ground if you realize this…
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”