In The Parable of the Sower, Jesus presented four types of listeners to the Word of God. This past Sunday we saw that some had hardened hearts, others had superficial hearts, and still others had crowded hearts. But those who are like “good soil” are those with receptive hearts. This is indicative of those who go on to produce fruit; some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
What’s interesting is what Jesus doesn’t say: He never presents a category where good soil produces fruit zerofold.
Thus, our main lesson from the parable: those who belong to the kingdom of heaven will be known by their fruit.
This leads us all the way back to an examining of ourselves, and a challenge: we must be not just listeners of God’s Word, we must be doers!
Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). So if we’re going to be genuine listeners, we must be fruit-producers. How can we do this? By simply listening, applying, and obeying the Word of God.
And as we each listen, apply, and obey, we become a people who produce a whole lot of fruit—perhaps even a hundredfold.
Did you know a successful yield in Jesus’s day was a tenfold harvest? Certainly hundredfold harvests weren’t necessarily impossible—Isaac had a hundredfold harvest in Genesis 26. However, this was an extremely rare exception.
Historically, if someone yielded a tenfold harvest, it was considered to be a very good year. Nonetheless, Jesus said some will produce fruit up to a hundredfold, highlighting the fact that genuine listeners will produce so much more than what would be expected—so much more than what could even be imagined!
What would Lake Murray Community Church look like if we each continue to listen, apply, and obey? I can tell you this: our storehouse would overflow with fruit, all for the glory of God. So let this parable be not only a challenge, but an encouragement—Jesus can certainly use our local church to impact the community around us in ways we can’t even begin to envision.
It starts by each of us softening our hearts to His Word, so that our hearts would always remain receptive, just like good soil.
-Pastor Marttell Sánchez