By Pastor Mensa Otabil
Tuesday 10th November, 2020
SOME FELL BY THE WAYSIDE
And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. (Matthew 13:4)
In this parable, Jesus uses the broadcast method of sowing seed to tell the story. The broadcast method of sowing has the sower picking up seeds in his hand, and throwing them on the field he wants to plant. Farmers used this method in planting grains like wheat and barley in the days of Jesus.
The first soil the parable mentions is the ‘wayside’ or the path. The farms usually had roads or beaten paths going through them where people would walk. The ‘wayside’ was therefore, a walkway that ran through the farms. It was not a reference to a wayside in the city but one that was on the farm.
Although the ‘wayside’ was on the farm, it was actually soil that farmers had walked on for so long that it had hardened. A seed falling on this ground doesn’t penetrate the soil. Since farmers did not plough the wayside, a seed that falls there is exposed until a bird spots it and eats it up.
Jesus identified this as the attitude of those who receive the word of God and treat it casually. Such people never allow the word they have received to settle in their hearts. Though the seed of the word they receive has the power of God in it, they do not cherish and protect the word when it comes to them.
People with a ‘wayside’ attitude allow the word to roll off their hearts or get kicked about by other concerns until, the enemy takes the word from them. Jesus described people with such an attitude to the word as people who do not understand the word. They don’t allow the word to speak to them. The enemy that steals the word could be our traditions, old ideas, doubts or the routines of our life.
Frequently in the Bible, we are admonished to pay attention to the word of God. Whether we are privately reading the scriptures or listening to an exposition of the scriptures, we must focus our attention on what we are reading or listening to.
God’s word is not only to be read or spoken; we must also understand it. The scriptures are to be our meditation day and night; we must think about them and ponder over what the Lord wants to tell us.
Today, I pray that we will not have a ‘wayside’ attitude to the word of God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your precious word. Give me a heart and mind that retains your knowledge. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:1-23
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: `Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.`
16 “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”