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I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

2Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he


takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are
clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot
bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine;
you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me
you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide n me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the
branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much
fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
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If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s
commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full. 12This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
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Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.14You are my friends if
you do what I command you.15No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his
master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known
to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and
that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
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These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Fruitless Christians?

May nagregalo sa amin noon ng isang halaman. Inilagay namin sa loob ng bahay, sa may tabi ng bintana
para kahit paano ay naaarawaan. Inalagaan ng asawa ko. Dinidiligan, kinakausap, tawag pa nga ay
Plantsy. Noong una, berdeng-berde at maraming dahon. Noong lumaon, nababawasan ng dahon kasi
natutuyo yung iba. Bago kami lumipat ng bahay, isang dahon na lang ang natitira. Pero buhay pa, berde
pa rin. Pero ngayon, lanta na. Wala nang pag-asa. Milagro na lang kung mabubuhay pa. Ang naging
problema – hindi naalagaan mabuti, hindi naging tama ang pag-aalaga, hindi tama ang environment, hindi
nasisikatan ng araw. Kaya nawalan ng buhay.

Para tayong mga halaman na ang Diyos ang nagtanim. Ang nais ng Diyos ay lumago. Madiligan at siya
ang magpapalago (1 Cor. 3:6-7). At habang lumalago ay namumunga tulad ng isang puno. Ngunit hindi
parang mangga na napapanahon ang bunga, kundi parang saging na kahit anong panahon ay may bunga,
at dumarami ang bunga. Ngunit maraming tao na nagsasabing Cristiano sila ay “fruitless.” If you think
you are a Christian, and you sense that you are fruitless – na parang walang pinagkaiba noong ikaw ay
hindi pa Cristiano – then there is a problem, a very big problem. There is no fruit because there is no
growth. There is no growth because there is no life. Maaari naman tiyak mo na Cristiano ka kasi may
nakikita kang bunga, pero ilang taon na ang nakakaraan parang wala kang nakikitang dagdag na bunga.
You have less fruit because you have less growth. You have less growth because you are undernourished.
You may have life, but you are not well fed. That is also a big problem.

Alam ng Panginoong Jesus ‘yan. Malapit na siyang mamatay, katatapos lang nilang maghuling hapunan
ng kanyang mga alagad. Physically, iiwanan na ni Jesus ang kanyang mga alagad ngunit binigyan niya ng
katiyakan sa John chapters 14-16 na makakasama pa rin nila si Jesus sa pamamagitan ng Banal na
Espiritu kaya dapat palagi silang magtiwala sa kanya at huwag bibitiw anuman ang mangyari. Si Judas
bumitiw na, umalis at naghandang ipagkanulo si Jesus. Dito sa John 15:1-17 ipapakita ni Jesus kung
gaano kahalaga ang pagkakaroon ng bunga sa buhay Cristiano at paano mangyayari ito. Noong una, nag-
uusap sila sa kuwarto kung saan sila naghapunan, pero sa 14:31 sabi ni Jesus, “Tumindig tayo at umalis
na tayo rito.” Lumabas sila at habang naglalakad ay may nadaanan silang puno ng ubas, karaniwan sa
lugar na iyon, at sinamantala ito ng Panginoon upang turuan sila tungkol sa paano magkakaroon ng
bunga, ng maraming bunga ang kanilang buhay.
The Vine, the Vinedresser and the Branches

Maaaring sabihin ng iba sa inyo, “Anong pakialam ko diyan? Basta tinanggap ko na si Cristo, umaattend
ako sa church. Mapupunta naman ako sa langit may bunga man o wala!” Kung iyan ang pagkaintindi mo,
makinig kang mabuti. Kung ikaw naman ay isang Cristianong kuntento na sa iyong espirituwal na
kalagayan at sinasabi mong, “OK na ko dito. Masaya naman ang buhay Cristiano ko. E ano naman kung
kaunti lang ang bunga ko? Hindi naman ako pastor!” Kung ganyan din ang saloobin mo, makinig kang
mabuti. So, why is fruitfulness important in the Christian life? I will give three reasons.

Reason 1: The credibility of Christ as the “true vine” is at stake. Sa Lumang Tipan, larawan ng isang
puno ng ubas ang Israel na nais ng Diyos na mamunga at maging instrumento niya para sa ibang mga
bansa. But they failed. In contrast to Israel’s failure, Jesus said, I am the true vine” (v. 1). Paano
maniniwala ang mga tao na “tunay” si Cristo at hindi gawa-gawa lang ng imahinasyon ng mga
relihiyosong tao, kung ang relasyon ninyong mag-asawa ay pareho din ng sa kanila? “I am the vine, and
you are the branches” (v. 5). Ano ang sasabihin nila kay Cristo kung hindi nila nakikita ang bunga ng
malapit mong ugnayan sa kanya, tulad ng isang sanga na nakakabit sa puno? Paano sila maniniwala na
karapat-dapat sundin bilang Panginoon si Cristo kung hindi natutupad sa buhay mo ang layunin kung
bakit ka niya pinili? “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and
bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (v. 16). Anong sasabihin nila tungkol kay Cristo kung ang
buhay mo ay tuyot at parang nalalantang dahon?

Reason 2: The glory of God as “the vinedresser” is at stake. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the
vinedresser (NIV “gardener”). Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every
branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (vv. 1-2). Bilang tagapangalaga, nais ng
Diyos na mamunga nang mamunga ang kanyang inaalagaan. Kapag may nag-aya ba sa iyo sa isang
manggahan na ang mga puno ay tatlong taon nang walang bunga, sasabihin mo ba sa may-ari, “Ang
galing-galing mo naman! Kakaiba ka! Kahanga-hanga!” If you don’t bear fruit, God is not glorified. If
you do, he is. But if you bear more fruit, he is more glorified. “By this my Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit…” (v. 8). Bakit? Dahil siya ang nag-aalaga at nagpapatubo at nagpapabunga. Sa kanya
ang papuri! Kung wala kang pakialam sa karangalan ni Cristo at ng Diyos, hindi mo iintindihin kung may
bunga ba ang iyong buhay Cristiano o wala.

Reason 3: Our assurance as true followers of Christ (“the branches”) is at stake. “By this my Father
is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples (NIV, “and show yourself to be
disciples”)” (v. 8). Hindi ba’t sa mga panahong hitik na hitik ang bunga natin mas masasabi nating tunay
nga tayong nakay Cristo? Hindi ba’t sa mga panahong parang lanta ang buhay espiritwal natin nagtataka
tayo kung tunay nga bang buhay si Cristo sa atin? “Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes
away (NIV, “cuts off”), and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes (or, “cleans”), that it may bear
more fruit” (v. 2). Those who do not bear fruit are not true disciples. They just seem like disciples, but
they are not. Like Judas, they are destined for judgment and are “thrown away like a branch and withers;
and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (v. 6). Pero ang mga totoong mga
tagasunod ni Cristo, bagamat dumaan sa pagkakasala, ay patuloy na nililinis ng Diyos upang mamunga
nang marami. Tulad ni Pedro, bagamat nadisiplina sa pagkakaila na kilala niya si Cristo, ay nang lumaon
ay namunga nang marami at mapatutunayang tunay na Cristiano. Tandaan natin, nagtatanong ang
maraming tao: “Totoo ba si Cristo? Dakila ba’t makapangyarihan ang Diyos? Tunay ka kaya?” They are
looking at the fruit of our faith.
“Abide in Me”

Fruitfulness is absolutely important – for the sake of Christ, for the glory of God, and for your own good.
Kung hindi ka pa kumbinsido at kuntento ka na sa klase ng buhay mo ngayon at ayaw mong maranasan
ang buhay na nais ng Diyos para sa iyo, puwede mo nang takpan ang tenga mo at huwag nang makinig.
Pero kung sinasabi mo ngayon sa sarili mo, “I want to experience a fruitful Christian life. How can I be
more fruitful?” Heto ang sagot ni Cristo, “Abide in me.” Anong ibig sabihin nito? Let me say three
observations about abiding in Christ so that it will be clearer to us.

Abiding in Christ is absolutely necessary. It is not optional. There will be no fruitfulness if there is no
abiding in Christ. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in
the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in
me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (vv. 4-5). He is the
source of life. We get nourished by being connected to him. What does “abiding” mean? Sa NIV,
“Remain in me.” Continue, stay, don’t move, don’t go away, don’t stop, persevere, be faithful. Ang tunay
na pananampalataya kay Cristo ay hindi minsanan lang kundi nagpapatuloy hanggang wakas. Tulad ng
nanay na nagbilin sa anak na huwag aalis ng bahay, “Diyan ka lang.” Tulad ng asawang nagsabi sa
kanyang asawa, “Huwag mo kong ipagpapalit sa iba. Kahit isang araw ay huwag kang matutulog sa iba!
Stay with me.” Jesus is saying, “Abide in me.” Wala nang ibang paraan upang maranasan natin ang
makabuluhang buhay. Faithfulness to Christ leads to fruitfulness in the Christian life. The more
faithful you are to Christ, the more fruitful you become. So what does abiding in Christ involve?

Abiding in Christ is abiding in his words. “Already you are clean because of the word that I have
spoken to you” (v. 3). Nilinis na tayo dahil sa Salita ng Diyos na tinanggap natin at pinaniwalaan. Pero
patuloy pa rin tayong nililinis upang magkaroon ng mas maraming bunga sa pamamagitan din ng
pananatili natin sa Salita ng Diyos. Walang Cristiano na makapagsasabi na nananatili siya kay Cristo
kung hindi naman siya palagiang nakikinig sa mga sinasabi niya. “If you abide in me, and my words
abide in you…” (v. 7). “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you
are truly my disciples’” (8:31). Puwede ba namang kinakausap ka ng asawa mo tapos nagpapanggap kang
nakikinig habang nagtetext ka naman tapos sasabihin mo, “Ano nga ulit ‘yung sinabi mo kanina?” O kung
nakikinig man pero hindi naman iniintinding mabuti tulad ng bilin ng nanay mong bumili ka ng suka sa
kanto para sa adobo, pagbalik mo pagkatapos ng isang oras sabi mo, “Heto na po ang catsup. Pasensiya
na po medyo mahaba ang pila sa Hypermaket.” We abide in Christ if we continually listen to his words
and make efforts to understand it and make it a significant part of our lives.

Abiding in Christ is abiding in his love. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my
love” (v. 9). Ang panawagan na manatili sa kanya ay panawagan na pag-alabin ang mainit na relasyon sa
kanya. Relasyon ang pinag-uusapan natin dito. Hindi lang tulad ng isang asawa na palaging nasa bahay
nga pero hindi man lamang nahahawakan ang kamay ng asawa, hindi man lang kinakausap, hindi man
lang nahahalikan. He is not saying, “Remain in the church. Remain in Sunday School. Remain in your
Kaagapay Group.” He is saying, “Remain in me.” Mas interesado si Cristo hindi sa kung nasaan ka o
kung ano ang ginagawa mo kundi sa kung anong klaseng relasyon mayroon ka sa kanya.

Faithfulness to Christ leads to fruitfulness in the Christian life. Kung mapapansin ninyo sa nakaraang
mga sermons, lahat halos ay may kinalaman sa relasyon natin kay Cristo. Itong huli ay may kinalaman sa
pagpapatuloy sa ganoong klaseng relasyon. “You must be born again – continue living the new life you
now have in Christ.” “Repent – continue repenting and submitting your life to Christ.” “Continually come
to me.” “Continue believing in me.” “Continue listening to me.” “Continue loving me.” “Continue
following me.”
“That You Bear Much Fruit”

Inuna nating pagtuunan ng pansin ang pagpapatibay ng relasyon natin kay Cristo dahil dito nakasalalay
ang magiging bunga ng ating buhay Cristiano. Ang bunga ng isang malapit, mainit, at nagpapatuloy na
relasyon kay Cristo ay magkakaroon ng bunga sa klase ng relasyon natin sa Diyos, sa pakikilaban natin sa
nalalabing kasalanan sa atin, sa relasyon natin sa ibang Cristiano, sa pamilya natin, sa mga hindi pa
Cristiano. Dito sa talatang pinag-aaralan natin, mayroon ding ilang bungang makikita tayo. Kung gusto
nating ganito ang maging bunga ng ating buhay, make sure that you abide in Christ, make sure that you
remain faithful to him. Anu-ano ito?

1. Developing Christ-like qualities. Kaya nga “my disciples” (v. 8) ang tawag ni Cristo sa mga
taong nakikita ang bunga, nakikita na sila ay nagiging katulad ni Cristo. “Whoever says he abides
in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6). There is also Christ-like
joy, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full”
(John 15:11).
2. Experiencing God in prayer. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you
wish, and it will be done for you” (v. 7). “…so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he
may give it to you” (v. 16). Nararanasan mo ang sagot sa dalangin dahil natuto ka kung paano
manalangin ayon sa kalooban ng Diyos kung malapit ang ugnayan mo kay Cristo. You know his
desires, you know his heart. That is why you bear fruit in prayers.
3. Living a life of obedience to God’s will. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my
love” (v. 10). Marami sa atin ay may struggles. Hindi mo mapagtatagumpayan ang struggle mo sa
Internet pornography o lustful thoughts kung hindi ka palaging mananangan kay Cristo. Abiding
in Christ results in the fruit of living a life of obedience.
4. Loving one another. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”
(v. 12). “These things I command you, so that you will love one another” (v. 17). Bunga ng
malapit at mainit na ugnayan kay Cristo ang isang pusong umiibig sa iba na tulad ng pag-ibig ni
Cristo. Siguro nahihirapan kang mahalin o patawarin ang isang kapatid na hanggang ngayon ay
kinaiinisan mo. Sabi ni Cristo, “If you want the fruit of love, abide in me.”
5. Reaching others for Christ. “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit”
(v. 16). Ang mabungang Cristiano, humahayo at ipinamamalita na tunay si Cristo na bumabago at
nagbibigay kahulugan sa buhay ng isang tao. Inihahanda natin ang sarili natin, pinagyayaman ang
relasyon kay Cristo, at ang bunga nito ay isang puso na palagiang nananalangin para sa ibang tao
na makakilala kay Cristo, sinisikap na ituro sa kanila ang ebanghelyo, at nakikilahok sa The
Harvest.

Tandaan nating ang nais ng Diyos para sa atin ay hindi lang isa o dalawa sa mga bungang ito, kundi
maraming bunga, “that you bear much fruit.” Pagdating sa pera, we want more. Pagdating sa regalo, we
want more. Bakit sa bungang Cristiano, ayos lang kahit kaunting bunga? There is something wrong here.
Sana masabi natin, “I want to be more fruitful! I will be more faithful to Christ!”

“I Want More!”

Faithfulness to Christ leads to fruitfulness in the Christian life. Ano ang maaari nating gawin para
mas maging malapit ang relasyon natin kay Cristo, para matiyak na nananatili tayo sa kanya, nang sa
gayon ay maranasan natin ang mabungang buhay Cristiano? I will suggest two which I found to be
helpful personally. Kung nakikita ninyong ang pastor ninyo na may bunga, nakikita kong ginagamit ng
Espiritu ang mga ito:
Have a regular “date” with Christ. Kaming mag-asawa, may regular na date dapat. Napagkasunduan
namin ngayon na Thursday night, kaya walang puwedeng umistorbo sa amin. Kaya noong Huwebes, nag-
aya si Jodi na mag-bibingka date. Galing ako noon sa ospital at may nag-invite sa akin na doon
magdinner sa kanila. Sabi ko saka na lang kasi may lakad na kami ng asawa ko. Dahil mas mahalaga sa
akin ang relasyon ko sa asawa ko at nais kong mas maging malapit kami, mas mahalaga sa dinalaw sa
ospital, mas mahalaga sa nag-anyaya sa dinner. Ganoon din sa relasyon kay Cristo. Kung gusto kong
manatili sa kanya at maging mabunga, tinitiyak ko na mayroon akong araw-araw na oras na nakalaan na
walang iistorbo sa amin. Ikaw, paano mo pinahahalagahan ang relasyong mayroon ka ngayon kay Cristo?
Baka hindi mo nararanasan ang fruitfulness sa buhay mo dahil sinisingit mo lang ang Quiet Time with
God kung hindi ka na busy. Paano lalago ang relasyon kung hindi nagkikita, hindi nag-uusap, hindi
nagkakatabi?

During that date, feast on the words of Christ. Siyempre kapag may “date” karaniwan may kakainin.
Noong Huwebes – bibingka, puto bumbong, tsaa, at siomai! Kumain ako hindi lang para mabusog, kundi
dahil may “date” kami. I also try to feast on the words of Christ daily. Iniwan niya sa atin ang Bible para
kainin, nguyain, at ma-enjoy. We abide in Christ when we read the Bible as part of our date with him.
Ngayon, bilang bahagi ng Bible Reading Plan, may binabasa ako sa Ecclesiastes, sa Jeremiah, sa John, at
sa James. Natuwa ako noong isang member natin na nasa London ay nag-message kay Jodi sa Facebook
na nakikinig siya ng mga sermons natin sa website ko at sinabi niyang hindi pa niya tapos ang Bible
reading plan na bigay ko last year pa ata. Kahit unti-unti, basta tuluy-tuloy. Wala pa akong nakikitang
“fruitful” na Cristiano na hindi “faithful” sa pagbabasa ng Bibliya.

Faithfulness to Christ leads to fruitfulness in the Christian life. If you are fruitless, you are not a
Christian, you don’t have a life connection to Christ. Are you a Christian? Yes! Then are you fruitful?
Yes! Do you want to be more fruitful? Yes! Then you stay faithful, more faithful to Christ each day
because Jesus said, “Abide in me.”

Fruitfulness: Allowing the Word to work the soil of our hearts

Matt. 13:1-23

Date: Aug. 06, 2000

Place: Faith EBC, Winkler

Introduction

We are just about to enter harvest season. In fact several farmers have already begun
swathing. The fields look ripe. The crops look plentiful. How did this all happen. Simply with
a small seed. This morning we handed each of you some wheat stalks. Just take a moment to
count the number of grains on the wheat head. Please realize that each grain head was produced
by one grain of wheat. How many of you have at least ten heads? How many of you have
twenty grains of wheat? How many of you have more than thirty grains? Forty? Wow, how did
that happen? Warren Wiersbe asked the question “Did you ever wonder what happens to all the
preaching and teaching that goes on in this world?...Has God’s Word lost its power?” - Wiersbe,
Window on the Parables, p. 20

Jesus told this parable on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-10) after the choosing of the twelve in the
midst of rising opposition to His ministry. This is the first of eight parables recorded in Matthew
13. What is a parable? “The word “parable” comes from two Greek words (para and balloµ),
which together mean “to throw alongside.” A parable, like an illustration, makes a comparison
between a known truth and an unknown truth; it throws them alongside each other.”[1] It is a
word picture which you can imagine and in turn understand the truth of what the author is
seeking to teach. This wasn’t the first parable Jesus told. “The parables already mentioned in
Matthew include the salt and the light (5:13–16), the birds and the lilies (6:26–30), the splinter
and the beam in the eye (7:3–5), the two gates (7:13f.), the wolves in sheep’s clothing (7:15), the
good and bad trees (7:17–19), the wise and foolish builders (7:24–27), the garment and the
wineskins (9:16f.), the children in the market places (11:16f.).”[2]

What would be the primary purpose of this parable? You may have read this parable many
times and wondered ‘what am I to learn from this?’. ‘Does it mean that I need to do more
sharing of the gospel? Is this about me or about others or is it about something else?’

Having read the parable earlier, you may have noticed the fact that different kinds of soils
were mentioned. In fact because of this, the farmer should expect different results in terms of the
crops he will reap. Jesus spoke this parable to the many people who listened, but the
interpretation was given only to the twelve later on, vv. 18-23.

I. The Seed is the Word of God, v. 4 cp. vs. 19 Mk 4:14; Lk 8:11

A. The Word of God has the power to produce spiritual life.

B. The Word of God has the power to produce spiritual fruit.

C. The Word of God has the power to work in all people.

II. The Sower is God who shares the Word, vs. 3


A. God commissions believers to be sowers, 1 Cor 3:9

B. We are to sow the seed irrespective of what we think of the soil.

- The Lord is the one who is in charge of the harvest. Our responsibility is to sow the seed,
pray for workers and leave the results to the Lord.

- We need to be sure that we are sowing for the purpose of building the kingdom, see Gal.
6:7-8 cp. Prov. 6:19.

III. The Soil is the hearts of people in response to the Word of God, v. 19 cp. vs. Lk 8:12

A. The soil needs preparation in order to receive the seed.

1. The soil needs cultivation, in other words we need to become familiar with the heart
conditions of people if we hope to share the gospel with them. This will require patience,
because often people are hard and difficult to get to know.

All soils when compared with the heart have potential. “If you ever visited Victoria, British
Columbia, you may have seen the Butchart Gardens….And to think that the gardens were once
an abandoned gravel pit.” - Wiersbe, p. 24

2. The soil needs water

3. The soil needs weed control

B. Types of soil.

1. Hard soil, vs. 4 cp. vv. 18-19.

- Morris calls this soil an illustration of a “careless hearer.”

The hearer knows that there is some spiritual truth here intended for his profit, but since he does
not act on it, he soon finds that what he heard is lost. The failure to attend to the message and to
find out what it means results in total loss, first of the message and ultimately of the hearer.
The person’s lack of understanding points up individual responsibility. [3] It isn’t because the
sower wasn’t faithful in spreading the message. It isn’t because the message itself is unclear, but
rather because of the hardness of heart the person simply refuses to allow the message to
penetrate the soil of his heart. The person who hears the message and refuses to receive it is
obviously unsaved. We should not be surprised if people don’t respond to the message.

2. Rocky soil, vv. 5-6 cp. vv. 20-21.

The soil condition in Israel is rather rocky in places, a lot of limestone. In contrast to the person
who refuses to listen to the message, this person receives the message with joy (he’s saved)
however, his heart has little soil and therefore the seed cannot be rooted solidly. This person
doesn’t mature, in fact due to bad choices he is led astray. “The abs. pass. can also mean let
oneself be led into sin, fall away (Passio Perpet. 20, 10 vGebh.; Martyr. Petri 3 p. 82, 22 Lips.)
Mt 13:21; 24:10; Mk 4:17; 14:27, 29; J 16:1; D 16:5.[4]” The Lord seeks to toughen us, harden
us to the struggles of life. If ones commitment is shallow when tested through a variety of
outward trials, he will fall away.

The Lord warned believers that they would face persecution for the sake of the Kingdom, Matt
5:10-12, 43-44; 10:16-25. The Lord expressed the fact that some people will crumble under
persecution on account of the Word.

3. Thorny soil, vs. 7 cp. vs. 22

A government publication on weeds lists 205 species of weeds, but the plant kinds which most
farmers and gardeners recognize as serious pests would number less than two dozen and,
significantly, nearly all of those so-called “noxious” weeds were brought from other lands. The
Russian thistle’s introduction appears to be an example. The first seed is believed to have been
present in flax brought from Russia to South Dakota in 1873. For a few years the menace went
unrecognized, but the new plants with unusual low moisture requirements found it easy to adapt
to the Great Plains environment and spread rapidly to every part of the United States and Canada
where rainfall was light. [5] This particular thistle has plagued Canadian farmers for years.

The mention of thorns in Scripture, refer to God’s judgment on the nation of Israel, see Isa. 5:6;
Jer. 4:3; Hos. 10:8. The thorns are an illustration of the worries of life, the deceitfulness of
wealth, which choke the spiritual life out of a believer. “These twin dangers of anxiety and
wealth were subjects in the Sermon on the Mount (6:19–34; cf. 19:23–24). “Anxiety (of the age)
depresses us away from the Word; delusion (with wealth) impresses us above the
Word.”[6] Someone once said, “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting
what you want. The other is getting it.” - Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, p. 237. I believe
that the greatest struggle for North American Christian is that they have become so obsessed
with business and profitability that they are left with no energy to serve in the body of Christ. It
is an issue of priority.

4. Good soil, vs. 8 cp. .vs. 23

The Lord goes on to illustrate the power of the Word when introduced in hearts that have been
prepared to receive the message. A couple of features about this kind of soil should be
mentioned. It was good soil, in that it was prepared. A prepared heart is a heart that is teachable
and wants to understand. This is the work of the Spirit of God, see John 16:8-11. “When he
comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in
regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am
going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the
prince of this world now stands condemned.” [7]

The verb for produce is in the imperfect tense, therefore, it speaks of action having begun in the
past and continues in the present “where it was producing”. A prepared heart is one that will
continue to produce a crop although the crop will vary. Some people question whether a
hundred-fold crop is possible, cp. Gen. 26:12. Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year
reaped a hundred-fold, because the LORD blessed him. [8] The kind of fruit that the Lord wants
to see in believers is spiritual. You say to yourself ‘ I thought this parable was teaching me that I
needed to do evangelism in order to be fruitful.’ Remember the context, Jesus was being
rebuked for picking grain on the Sabbath. Jesus was rebuking the hypocrisy of the
Pharisees. The kind of fruit that needs to present in our lives is that mentioned in Galatians 5:22-
23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23
gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [9] When you and I bear this
kind of fruit we will be like the tree planted by streams of water mentioned in Psalm 1, “But his
delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.” [10] In Col. 1:6-8 we read: “All over the world this gospel is
bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and
understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,
who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the
Spirit. [11] In Eph. 2:10 we read, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. [12]

Let’s look at the day of harvest and recognize that if we want to bring a harvest to
heaven with us, we will need to have prepared hearts. We will need to have obedient hearts to
what we already know, then our lives will speak the truth and we will be prepared to share the
gospel with our friends, family and co-workers.