We hear with our ears, but there is a much deeper kind of listening with the heart and mind that is necessary in order to have spiritual understanding from Jesus’ words. Jesus explains the parable of the four soils in Mark 4:10-25, also in Matthew 13:10-23; and Luke 8:9-18.
The four soils represent four different ways people respond to His message. Some people in the crowd were watching for evidence to use against Jesus; while others truly desired to learn and grow. Jesus’ words were for the honest seekers!
The sower sows the word. The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but Satan comes immediately to take away the word that was sown in their hearts–such as different times and phases in every person’s life.
The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and joyfully receive it, but like young plants in soil, their roots are not very deep. Seemingly at first, they get along fine, but soon thereafter they wilt as soon as a problem arises or they are attacked because they believe the Word of God.
At times, we willingly receive God’s message in one area, while resisting it in others. We may readily respond like good soil to Jesus’ command to worship Him, but like rocky soil where hardened in some area of the heart, we may choose to disobey or disregard the message.
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept God’s Word, but the message is crowded out by the cares of this world, so no crop is produced.
The good soil represents a heart that is hungry and thirsty for God, and one who accepts the message–and produces a huge harvest–thirty, sixty, or even 100 fold–in unlimited measure!
Jesus asked, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.
“Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand–and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”
We must seek to know God and have His divine imprint on our hearts to listen and obey in every area of our lives at all times–this is good soil. Choose to listen with your heart today!