Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word.”
In His explanation of the parable, Jesus makes it clear that He’s talking about ministry. Specifically; sowing the Word. The Word He’s talking about here is the Greek word, logos. Logos refers to the Word that is spoken in preaching or teaching. For detailed posts about this truth, click here.
The Lord is giving an in-depth look at what happens when the Word is ministered. There are various groups of people who hear the Word. The effect is different in each group.
The first group Jesus deals with is what He calls those along the path.
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
The question is; who are these people? The path is a ribbon of hard-packed earth. It has been trampled by generations of traffic. It’s dry, hard, and unyielding.
These are people who have absolutely no interest in hearing from God. They just happen to be in earshot of someone who’s speaking on God’s behalf. The message isn’t directed at them, but they happen to hear it.
Why is this the case? Simply put; there’s not a farmer on earth who would intentionally sow his seed on the road. That should be the case in the spiritual realm as well.
That’s why understanding the different types of people in this parable should be important to ministers of the Gospel. There should be some discernment that goes along with the ministry of the Word.
I know that there are those who feel they need to preach to everyone within earshot. But that’s just the opposite of what Jesus taught. The seed of the Word is precious. It shouldn’t be wasted on unproductive ground.
Listen to how the Lord explained it.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
That being said, what CAN we do about people in this condition? I’m in no way saying that we should write them off as unreachable.
The fact is that a road can be turned into a fruitful field – but it requires a lot of work. These people need to be prayed for. But I’m not talking about a simple, “God, please open their eyes. Amen.”
In order to make them ready and able to receive a Word that could save them, they require someone to intercede for them. This may include spiritual warfare to break up their hardened heart. Turning a path into good soil requires time and effort.
The church needs willing intercessors who can take on this responsibility. Are you one of them?
Questions: Who do you know that may be a person on the path? How can you pray for them?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi