February 2, 2020 Sermon Notes

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What kind of hearer are you? (February 2, 2020)

Series Big Idea: "We have a God who will lead us in the best paths suited for us"

Sermon Big Idea: "To truly hear the Kingdom message means to receive it and bear fruit"

Key Scripture (Matthew 13:18-23)

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus often spoke to the crowds that followed Him in parables. Most of the time He told stories to make something He was trying to communicate clearer. But this was not always the case. One of those times is listed in Matthew 13.

Something you need to know for this passage to make sense is that Jesus was now explaining the parable He had told. The parable is known to us as the parable of the sower. One day Jesus had walked out and found Himself a place to sit down by the sea. So many people began to follow Him, so he got into a boat and sat down while the people stood on the shore. He began to tell them many things and He spoke in parables. He would eventually tell several parables but this first one is called the parable of the sower.

He told them to picture a sower who went out to sow. As this man was sowing, some of the seed he was spreading was falling on the path and the birds would come and eat it up. Some of the other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil and it grew quick because the ground wasn’t deep. But as this plant was growing, the sun would scorch it and it would wither and die. Other seed fell among the thorns and eventually the thorns choked them out. And finally, some seed fell on good ground and produce a bumper crop. Some 100, some 60, and some 30 times. Then Jesus said, “anyone who has ears should listen.” That is where this passage ends then Jesus explains what a parable is and why it is told. That brings us to the next part of the passage where Jesus explains what He has just told the people.

Matthew 13:18-23 (HCSB)

18 “You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. 20 And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 Yet he has no root in himself but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times ⌊what was sown⌋.”

Jesus explains that four different hearers hear the message of the good news, but they all receive it in different ways. As we look at this parable, I want you to ask yourself, “what kind of hearer am I.” The first person Jesus mentions is the person who is a…

Careless Hearer

Jesus called this kind of soil the Path. This is a person who hears but can’t understand. He can’t hear the spiritual truth Jesus is explaining. The seed tries to put down roots but Jesus makes the point that parables are meant to conceal truth from people who carelessly hear. Only those who have committed themselves to Jesus will understand. This person knows there is some spiritual truth there but doesn’t act on it.

Superficial Hearer

Jesus calls this kind of soil Rocky Ground. This person receives the Word immediately and with joy. Although there is joy and enthusiasm, the seed is shallow. Jesus says the man has no root in himself. There is no staying power. All people run into trials at one point in their lives and with this person their bubble is burst easily and quickly. Sadly, over time, this person forms a rebellion toward the Lord because of troubles.

Distracted Hearer

The seed sown among Thorns. This individual really listens to the Word. But his attention to God’s Word must be understood considering the other important things in his life. Worry is something that everybody can empathize with, but this person can become easily distracted from God’s Word with his worries. Jesus says these worldly concerns choke out the Word.


Faithful Hearer

This is the Good Ground. This person hears the Word and understands it. He intelligently receives it and immediately acts on it. The result is he bears fruit and produces. This person is known for his good works. It is proving that his heart is really changed. He bears fruit according to what he has been given. This person pursues God with all his being and does it with humility. This is complete surrender to God’s will. So, I ask you, what is your posture before God? Are you always coming humbly and ready to hear His message of salvation? 

Pastor Beaver's thoughts and ideals for this message, are inspired by:

Holman Christian Standard Bible

English Standard Version Bible

King James Version Bible

Christian Standard Bible

The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord/Roy B. Zuck

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by Jerome H. Smith

Water, Mark, ed. Encyclopedia of Bible Facts. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004. WORDsearch CROSS e-book. 

Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.

NIV, Archaeological Study Bible, eBook: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Duane Garrett, and Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

NIV, First-Century Study Bible, eBook: Explore Scripture in Its Jewish and Early Christian Context

Zondervan, Kent Dobson, and Ed Dobson

Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1992. Print. The Pillar New Testament Commentary.


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