Matthew 13:1-9 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!
In order to understand the significance of this parable it is necessary to understand the meaning of a living Word. First, I’ll tell you what a living Word isn’t. It isn’t the majority of the preaching heard in the church-world today. A living Word is not just Scripture. Just because someone reads Scripture or speaks it from memory doesn’t mean it is a living Word. The Lord is the Living Word. His life, His Spirit, His presence must be in what is spoken for it to be a living Word, and the one speaking determines how much or whether it is a living Word or not. A living Word enhouses the presence of the Lord; it is a ministry of His life. A living Word is ministered by the Lord through those who have emptied themselves of self so that the Lord can minister through them.
This parable, then, concerns the ministry of the living Word. The Lord Himself is the Sower and the seed sown. His life is the seed. The Sower is not the Lord alone but the Lord ministering through those have become channels for His ministry.
After Jesus presented this parable, His disciples asked Him why He was speaking in parables for the people did not understand them. Jesus responded by saying it was not given for them to understand but it was given for the disciples to understand (verses 10-17).
This parable is prophetic of the ministry of the living Word during the time of the ingathering of the saints. It is when the ministry of the living Word creates and perfects the many-membered Body of Christ. It is the great day of the Lord.
You will notice in the parable that those who receive the Word are grouped in six classes. The first three groups receive the living Word but lose it (verses 4-7). The last three groups bring forth fruit, some a 100-fold, some 60-fold, and some 30-fold. Jesus explained in verse 11 that this ministry of the living Word was the ministry of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven. Speaking to His disciples He said, “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven.” This is the same ministry of the Word that Peter spoke of in his epistle. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. I Peter 2:9-10.
I hope you grasp the significance of this ministry of the living Word. Believe God for a revelation! Jesus told His disciples that many prophets and righteous men of the past have not heard or seen that which is ministered in this great day of the Lord. We are living in a unique day. Do not allow the cares of this life to rob you. Open your heart to receive the living Word. It is the day when God will sow.
Hosea prophesied of this ministry. Let’s look at two verses in the first chapter.
Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are sons of the living God.
This is the prophecy Peter drew from in his epistle. Hosea, then, is speaking prophetically of the living Word ministry that creates a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people called out of darkness into His marvelous light – a people who were not a people but are now the people of God.
Hosea 1:11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one Head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel!
This is not speaking of the nation of Israel, but spiritual Israel. They “shall come up” speaks of ascension out of this world into the world of God. In other words, they will not be of this world. Do you remember when Jesus said, “I am not of this world”? (John 17:14). He was still standing on earth, but He was not of this world. Spiritually He had already ascended into God’s world. Likewise, there will be a people that shall hear a living Word and they shall “come out of the land” of deadness into His life. They shall come up out of the land, for “great shall be the day of Jezreel.” The day of the living Word is the great day of Jezreel. The name Jezreel means “God will sow.”
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose