Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
23rd June 2019
Study 16 – CHRIST’S EXPOSITION OF THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
Text – Mark 4:10-20,34; 7:17; Matthew 13:36; Mark 4:13; 7:18; Luke 24:45; Acts 8:30-31; Luke 24:27; Acts 28:23
The Lord Jesus Christ had taught in parables. In particular, the parable of the sower of the seed, and now He is going to give us the interpretation, application and exposition of the Parable of the Sower of the Seed. “And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable” (Mark 4:10). He had finished teaching the parable, so the twelve disciples and others around Him came to ask Him for the interpretation, import, exposition and the intent of the parable. It is a good attitude and habit to cultivate, that after hearing the teaching of the word of God, you ask yourself how it applies to you, what promise, precept, commandment or injunction are there for you. The twelve were in the habit of asking the Lord privately whatever they did not understand, and He expounded all things to them. “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples” (Mark 4:34). See also Mark 4:34; 7:17; Matthew 13:36. What a good attitude and disposition for a learner, a follower, disciple, believer and a Christian to ask for clarification of what we don’t understand. “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him” (Mark 7:18). Remember He is the Messiah, Lord and Teacher, and as they are His students He could challenge them. And they were not offended, so that next time, they could ask Him again. Understanding is very important. When you hear the word of God, your intention, attitude, desire and purpose is that you understand and Christ with the Holy Ghost are always at hand to lead into all truth and cause us to understand, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). The Lord Jesus Christ is interested in us not only hearing but understanding. At the time of the Early Church the Spirit of God directed Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch reading the Word of God. “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). Understanding is indeed very important. There are many that read the word of God, which is profitable and very good, but they do not read to understand and apply the Word to their daily living, to make spiritual progress. We need an interpreter and expositor to guide us into understanding the Word (Acts 8:31). The Lord wants the disciples, saints and believers of today to understand the Word. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). The risen Lord continued what He did before He died. Exposition did not stop after Jesus went to Heaven. In the Early Church, Apostle Paul expounded on the Kingdom of God from morning till evening. “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23). They were not tired of the teaching and you will not be tired of the hearing of the word of God.
In today’s Study, we are coming to the body of the parable, the exposition, application and interpretation to every hearer at that time and to every generation.
Point 1. THE IGNORANCE AND THE FAITHLESSNESS OF HARDENED HEARERS
Mark 4:10-13; Matthew 13:13-15; Acts 28:25-27; Luke 8:12; Genesis 19:14-16,24,26; Hosea 8:12; 2 Timothy 3:7; Hebrews 2:1-3
As He expounded the parable unto them, He picked up the details and He taught them line by line. The first were the ones that fell on the wayside, interpreted as those who heard but did not believe and were not converted, not saved; they were ignorant and faithless because their hearts were hardened. “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). Jesus said to His disciples, and by extension all born again, brought inside and chosen, the mystery shall be open, but for those who are outside the kingdom and the realm of grace, it is done to them in parables, “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”(Mark 4:12). They hear but do not understand nor make application of the Word, as it does not fit into their traditions. “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). We get the best and profit from the word when we understand. God did not deny them understanding, but they closed their eyes and ears to understand the Word when it contradicts their traditions and customs and what they are used to. “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15). As we see all these we need to plead with the Lord that our ears will hear and we will understand, our eyes see and we will perceive and profit from the Word of God without any restriction or limitation, in Jesus Name (Acts 28:26). The purpose of hearing the word of God is to be converted and transformed; old things are passed away and all things become new; new life, new attitude and character, and our names written in the Book of Life.
“And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:15). The perfect and everlasting word that is able to save, heal, deliver, sanctify, regenerate, transform any and every heart. It is surprising and beyond human comprehension that any one will hear the message of salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and how to get to Heaven, directly from the Saviour Himself, and yet not get saved. It is surprising that the best Teacher and the Word Personified will come to this people and teach the word without using any vocabulary that they do not understand and yet they are not saved. Why? Because; (i) They did not attempt to understand the word of God; (ii) They were inattentive, ignorant and disinterested. They just came habitually to hear with the word; (iii) They rested in being the children of Abraham and felt they have got it all, so the word was for other people. (Are there people like that today who because their parents are Christian and leaders in the Church, and they were born into the Church, do not make personal application of the word to themselves as sinners and they are not saved?) (iv) They repented and believed not. They shook off the conviction of the Spirit of God in their hearts. (v) They hardened their hearts, stiffened their necks, they sealed and seared their consciences. They did not come to study so that they can have a change of heart and be converted; and if there is going to be conviction by the word, they hardened and stiffened their necks. (vi) They willingly opened their hearts, spirits and souls to Satan, Seducers and the people that will make them to deny, destroy and disbelieve the word of God. And when Satan comes, he takes the word they are hearing away from their heart immediately. They were not converted throughout the ministry of Christ, they carelessly chose perdition and missed paradise. “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12). The devil always comes to them after the Bible Study to take what they have learnt away, that they forgot the word of God. This will not happen to you. “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law” (Genesis 19:14). Lot was very clear in the presentation of the word of God to his sons in law, but they neglected the warning and perished in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Also, the wife of Lot saw the angels, and heard when Lot warned his in-laws, yet her mind was not there, she was not paying attention, it was business as usual for her; she felt the touch of the angels, and saw but did not perceive and she perished, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). This will not happen to you; let’s take heed to what we are hearing, understand and apply the word of God to our lives. “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12). This is the problem of those who don’t understand the word of God; they count it as a strange thing. They are ever learning of salvation and never able to come to the experience; ever learning of the love of God and Jesus the only Saviour but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; ever learning of peace with God and man, with holiness, and never able to attain to it; ever learning of the victorious Christian life over sin, but never able to overcome the smallest and least of all temptations. This will not happen to you. You will have power to live above sin every day of your life in Jesus Name. “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1). You will not remain ignorant and the word of God will bear fruits of repentance, regeneration, righteousness in every life in Jesus Name.
Point 2. THE INCAPACITY AND FRUITLESSNESS OF HEEDLESS HEARERS
These people heard the word, but they were careless, did not take heed, that was why they do not have the capacity, spirituality, character and comportment to bear fruit. “And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:17). They are not ready to bear persecution and trials, and resist temptation; no form of self-denial and are offended at the word of God. Any little challenge or difficult that arises because of the word, they give up easily. You will not give up.
“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19). How and why is it that people rejoice hearing the word yet later are gone back, backslidden, not abiding in the word?
(i) They received with gladness for a time but later abandoned the faith – Mark 6:20. Herod once gladly heard of God from John the Baptist and appreciated him but when John told him the truth about his marriage, that quenched Herod’s interest. “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mark 6:17-18). There are people who will listen and rejoice in the word of God up to a point, but when you begin to teach on polygamy, idolatry and restitution, they are offended and part with the Word. (ii) No thorough conversion and no total cleansing from their covetousness – Acts 8:13,18-23. You would have thought that Simon, was truly converted, but covetousness had not left him, even though he was baptized by Philip and was following him in the ministry, “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8:18-20). As Peter was incorruptible so you will be. Money will not take away your salvation, heaven and your name out of the Book of Life in Jesus Name. (iii) They had no root in personal conviction – 2 Chronicles 24:2,15-18. There are those who while they are with us they profess to believe, but away from us, a little wind blows away their conviction. May I ask, where are your son and daughter? When they were with you, they were eager to serve the Lord but now, when they have gone far away from you, they are no more in the Lord and in the Church, they are gone away because they had no root. The Lord will bring them back in Jesus Name. As you spend for their education, let them know that education alone will not take them to heaven. Make sure of their salvation, sanctification and holiness; let them have personal conviction. For those parents and leaders Children and Youth leaders who spend their lives and time teaching other people’s children how to make heaven, how about your own child/children? Are you making effort to take them to heaven with you? (iv) They could not endure persecution, name calling, and trials because of the word – Galatians 6:12. They are too delicate to suffer for Christ. They cannot stand gossip, assaults or insults against them. (v) Encumbrance with the cares of this world – Luke 21:34-36. There are among us, even ministers, that the cares of this life have taken over their lives – the quest for money, wealth, properties, fame, possessions, competing with the world. Take heed to yourselves: such don’t have a Hell to shun and a Heaven to gain. (vi) They are blindfolded by the deceitfulness of riches – Ecclesiastes 5:10,15-16; 1 Timothy 6:9-10. There are some that are committed, but their employment takes them away from the fellowship of the brethren. Little by little, they are gone, backslidden, in pursuit of riches. You will not labour for the wind, “And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?” (Ecclesiastes 5:16). Wealth and riches that you are labouring over will vanish with the world and the only thing that you will take with you to eternity is your salvation and spiritual things, so labour for these. Beware of the love of money (1 Timothy 6:9,10). (vii) The lust for other things entering in – inordinate affection, disproportionate desire for other things – Colossians 3:1,2; 1 John 2:15-17. Set your affection, desire and love for things above and not things on the earth. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you no matter your position or title in the Church.
Point 3. THE INCREASE IN FRUITFULNESS BY HONEST HEARTS
Mark 4:20; Luke 8:15; John 15:2,4-5,8,16; Colossians 1:10
This was what Luke called the last set of hearers – “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:20). Fruits (thirty-fold), more fruits (sixty-fold) and much fruits (hundred-fold) (John 15:2,5,8). The Lord wants us to bear spiritual, Christlike, positive, practical and influential fruits, that others through us will become born again and bear fruits. What makes anyone to bear fruits is the condition of the heart. The heart that bears fruits includes; (i) Contrite Heart – Isaiah 57:15. They hear the word and are broken in heart. It is that contrition that enables them to begin to bear fruits. (ii) Convicted and Converted Heart – Acts 2:37-38,40. They hear the word of God and are convicted, that they come before the Lord in genuine repentance and confession of sin, and they are converted. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). They were not offended by the confrontational message of Peter, but they gladly received his word and were converted. (iii) Cleansed and Prepared Heart – Psalms 51:10,17; Job 11:13-14. It is a new creation, something that will come as we pray unto God. (iv) Humble and Tender Heart – 2 Chronicles 34:27. If our hearts are tender when we hear the word of God, then we go and work on what we have heard to bear fruits. (v) Purified, Sanctified and Circumcised Heart – Deuteronomy 30:6. As you hear the word, you bring that heart before the Lord to be sanctified and circumcised. (vi) Obedient Heart, free from sin – Romans 6:17. There is no cherished sin that you are holding onto, but you receive grace to be freed from sin. (vii) A Believing and Receptive Heart – 1 Thessalonians 2:13. You will receive the totality of the word, and it will bear fruit in your life and ministry in Jesus Name. You will not be like the wayside ground, that hears and the devil takes it away; nor the stony ground where the Word is received gladly and then the sun scotches it; nor the thorny ground. Rather, you will be the good ground that hears, receives the word and brings forth abundant fruits – thirty-fold, sixty-fold and an hundred fold. The Lord will bless your life, you will bear abundant fruits, and Heaven with our GS will rejoice because of you. We shall bear fruits together.
Ponder on this! It is surprising and beyond human comprehension that any one will hear the message of salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and how to get to Heaven, directly from the Saviour Himself, and yet not get saved. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! It is a good attitude and habit to cultivate, that after hearing the teaching of the word of God, you ask yourself how it applies to you, what promise, precept, commandment or injunction are there for you. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Money will not take away your salvation, heaven and your name out of the Book of Life in Jesus Name. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Hard Sayings -They heard, they did not believe and were not converted, not saved; they were ignorant and faithless because their hearts were hardened. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – There are many that read the word of God, which is profitable and very good, but they do not read to understand and apply the Word to their daily living, to make spiritual progress.. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – Let us take heed to what we are hearing; understand and apply the word of God to our lives. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Key Words – The purpose of hearing the word of God is to be converted and transformed; old things are passed away and all things become new; new life, new attitude and character, and our names written in the Book of Life. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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