Matthew 13:1-9


Understanding the teachings of Jesus
Reading: Matthew 13:1-9
Blanks: Soil, Root, Produced

(1) At this time, many people gathered around Jesus.
So, Jesus got into a boat and sat on it.
Then people stood on the shore being ready to listen.
Then Jesus told them many stories, hoping that they would understand them and live a good life for God.

Today, we have read one of those stories.
This story was about hearts.
Let me explain.
Jesus said:
(2) A farmer went out to sow seeds.
He is scattering the seed all over the places.

Now let’s guess who is this farmer?
This farmer is Jesus.
This farmer is spreading the seeds.

(3) Then what do these seeds represent?
The seeds are the teachings of Jesus in this story.

(4) If some people open their hearts and receive this seed, this seeds will start to grow under the ground, in their heart.
Then it grows and grows because its soil has good minerals and nutrition.
Then slowly and slowly the seed will become a plant.
Soon this seed will bear good fruits, like this.

So, now Jesus goes everywhere to teach.
It means that Jesus is spreading the seeds everywhere.

(5) But then this kind of things may also happen.
Some seeds might fall on the road.
(6) Then the birds might come and eat them.

What does it means?
It explains our spiritual world.
Jesus taught something.
That is, Jesus gave his seeds.
So, some people heard that message.
They liked it.
They liked this kind of spiritual experiences.
But they couldn’t really take it to their heart.
So, they didn’t really understand what Jesus meant.
So, they didn’t cherish it.
Soon, they forgot about it.
They lost it.
So, they could not produce any good fruits out of that seed.
Still, they didn’t know what to do with their lives.
They didn’t know how to live according to the teachings of Jesus.

(7) Next, some seed fell among rocks and stones.
These seed didn’t have much soil to work with.
Then, the seed sprung up quickly.
But they didn’t have space to put their roots down because of rocks and stones.
Without roots, they couldn’t grow anymore.
(5) They needed more soil.
But then the sun shined on it.
It was too hot for them.
Then this plant was dehydrated and destroyed.

What does it mean?
It explains a situation.
Some people hear the teachings of Jesus.
They receive it with joy and enthusiasm.
But then they didn’t think deeply about what Jesus said.
Jesus is trying to build some good characters out of them.
But they didn’t give Jesus enough space to work with.
They couldn’t give because rocks and stones in their hearts.

When these people experience some trouble, problem, or persecution because of Jesus, they questioned God and doubted God.
They complained that they didn’t understand what was happening to them.
Then, they stopped believing Jesus.
Because they experienced some sufferings, they gave up on Jesus.
And they left Jesus.

(3) Next, other seed fell among thorns and weeds.
These thorns and weeds were bothering the seeds and stopped them from growing.

What does it mean?
Some people listened to Jesus.
But they were not interested in understanding what Jesus was really saying.
Because they were not really ready to listen to Jesus.
Because they worried about their life.
They wanted more money, good reputation, fame and toys.
So, they wanted to get everything in life.
They were very competitive.
They wanted to have everything what others have.
These were so important for them.
So, they cannot pay enough attention to Jesus.
Jesus was enough for them.

So, they might try to use Jesus to get everything.
But it seemed Jesus was not interested in that.
So, they might follow some wrong teachings.
Then because of that, they couldn’t produce good fruits in their lives, because of weeds and thorns.

(4) Next, other seed fell on good soil.
(5) These seeds produced a harvest, many, many, many times more than what was sown.

What does it mean?
Some people have a great heart.
When they listen to Jesus, they are very thankful for his words.
So, they think about it.
They pray about it.
They write down in order to remember it.
Then they think about it more.
They try to understand more.
The more they understand Jesus, the more they rejoice in Jesus.

When they realize its meaning, they practice it.
The more they practice it, the more they understand.
(5) Then they produce a lot of good fruits.
They produce good fruits because they succeed in understanding and practicing the teachings of Jesus.

But sometimes, they may find something they don’t understand.
They may wonder why Jesus said something like that.
Then they work hard to understand its meaning.
They stick to it.
They write it down again.
They think about it and meditate on it.
They memorize it.
Then as they try to understand what Jesus is saying, they become a good land that can produce good fruits.
Then God will also help them to endure long enough to produce good fruits.

(4) So, today, we learn that there can be four kinds of lands or four kinds of hearts.
I hope that we are the good land with much soil.
I hope that we have the good hearts that can understand what Jesus has to say.
I hope that we are the ones who remember it.
(6) Then as we live accordingly, we will produce good fruits.
Because we understand, we can live according to the teachings of Jesus.
Then we can live a good life for God.

It is like this.
If we think God is kind and loving, we may also be kind and loving.
That is our fruits.
If we know that our savior has risen from death, we may also live boldly believing this savior.
If we know that Jesus lives within our hearts, we may try to listen to him more often.
Then as we try to follow the teachings of Jesus, we will produce good fruits.
We will learn to live peacefully with everyone.
(6) Then because of you, the good teachings of Jesus will be spread all over the world.
Then God will be very happy with you, right?
May you have wonderful fruits in all your life.

Let us pray:
God, help us to be a good land that produces good fruits.
Help us to have a good heart that understands your words.
In your son’s name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

In this way, we may live continually in the full realization of our oneness with the life of God. Then everything else will follow.