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Sermon for Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23   -   The Sower and the Seed
Proper 10

The Kingdom of God was the main emphasis of Jesus' ministry and this is accepted by most. But defining precisely what the Kingdom was is a bit more difficult. Indeed, even Jesus himself was often illusive about it. He did not speak in absolutes; rather, he spoke in parables. Such is our scripture text for this morning. Jesus compared the Kingdom to a sower going out and spreading seed. Some of it falls upon hard ground and is unable to take root. Some of it falls on shallow ground, and although it initially sprouts, it later withers away. But some seed falls upon good earth and comes to fruition and produces a harvest.

We are to understand, of course, that the sower is God, the seed is the Kingdom, and the various types of soil represent us--you and me. On the surface of it, of course, it doesn't sound as though God is a very frugal farmer. After all, most of the seed that is strewn about never takes root. But this is not really a story about the sower or the seed. It is a story about different types of soil, or to put it another way, the responses of different types of people to the Kingdom.

The question is really, what is the state of our hearts when the seeds are sown with us? With that in mind, let us examine the various conditions of the heart mentioned in this story.

I. The Hardened Heart
II. The Distracted Heart
III. The Defeated Heart
IV. The Hopeful (and Joyful!) Heart

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