New Hope Notes
The Parable Of The Plow
The Greatest Life Ever Lived
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
In this particular season of your life, are you going through too many trials? Are you confused? Have you taken the wrong path? Jesus spoke in parables. Parables are stories and events that speak to us about God’s truths in a way we would understand that would assist us in our daily lives. Our message today is all about parables. Let God’s directives through the message today from Pastor Wayne give you guidance in what to do.
According to the Greek translation, a parable is one thing thrown alongside another intending one to explain the other. In the book of Matthew, Jesus spoke of the parable of the sower. Instead of the parable of the sower, we are going to discuss about the parable of the plow. The parable has a dual role. First, it reveals things to the softened heart. When one is ready to hear God’s revelation, the person’s heart is softened enough and ready. On the other hand, when the parable falls on a hardened heart, the lesson to be learned is concealed. Jesus Christ was a master teacher. Self-discovery was a part of His method. It is a story without an ending. But when you get it, it’s a revelation by illustration. If we don’t get it, we can’t connect to the real lesson at hand. It is up to us whether it changes us or not.
Let us read the following parable and its explanation…
1. The Parable
"Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up." (Matt. 13:3-4)
"When anyone hears the Word...and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart." (Matt. 13:19)
In the explanation, we need to underline “does not understand it”. The first people we are going to talk about are the people that don’t get it. When a person falls by the wayside, this individual doesn’t understand what was said. No matter how they read or hear they still don’t understand. For example, a man came to me and asked me for advice. He said, “Pastor Wayne, my wife just called me and she said she was at the doctor’s office at Ala Moana. She is sick. She wants me to come down there. What do I do?” In turn, I asked him, “Do you have something else to do?” With frustrated feelings, he answered, “Well, I have to do…blah…blah…blah…plus I don’t have a car!!!” “Well…” I said with an insistent look on my face, “There is a bus that leaves in front of your house in five minutes.” He looked confused. The he asked, “Why are you talking about the bus?” He did not get it. In reality, the bus would take him to the location where his wife was, but he didn’t get it.
During Biblical times, people had pieces of land outside the city. Near each plot there was a pathway where the people could walk. People walked around in this boundary before they could get to their plot of land. Therefore, the pathway was usually pressed down by many feet. As it got pressed down, it hardened.
Most of the time, we cry to God for so many things in our life. Some things we take for granted. We might pray for them but we take them for granted. The examples are our marriages, jobs, families, and faith. We need to stop doing that because God can’t do what He needs to do in our lives if we take things for granted. We can’t be fruitful. So how do we become fruitful again? We need to come before God and pray.
Now…let us read the prayer…
LORD, RUN YOUR PLOW THROUGH THE THINGS WHICH I HAVE TAKEN FOR GRANTED.
Next…let us read…
2. The Parable
"Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up... But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away." (Matt. 13:5-6)
"This is the man who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the Word, he falls away." (Matt. 13:20-21)
Based on the above verse, having shale under the soil was a common situation. In the ground there would hard shale under the shallow top soil. In time when the roots grow, they cannot penetrate the shale to go deep. So the sun causes the roots to dry out and wither. We too have some shallow parts of our lives. Just the other day, I received a phone call from a man. He said that I had said something offensive which he hadn’t let go. I told him I didn’t remember saying it. Then, I asked for forgiveness. He had carried it in his heart for six years. We all have past hurts in which we haven’t allowed God to come in. Sometimes we have deep hurts that we haven’t had the plow of the Holy Spirit run through. Maybe it is just stubbornness. In doing so, we have prevented God from working through us and making us fruitful.
So now, we just need to come before God and ask…
LORD, RUN YOUR PLOW THROUGH THE SHALLOW PLACES IN MY HEART.
Sometimes we go through the motions of our lives with our hurts superseding everything. We don’t have the same passion for worship towards God like we had before. We don’t love our spouses like before. This can cause us to become shallow. We need to stop ourselves. If we don’t, there could be things concealed from us. This leads us to the next parable…
3. The Parable
"Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out." (Matt. 13:7)
"The one on whom seed was sown among the thorns is the man who hears the Word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word, it becomes unfruitful." (Matt. 13:22)
When you plow a land with an ox, you run your plow in a circular motion. This naturally causes you to miss the corners. And in the corners, the weeds grow. Like life, the corners of our lives are the areas we don’t want God in. We may have problem with an affair, pornography, drugs, and unforgiveness. We close off those areas our lives and do not let God come in. We need to pray the following prayer…
LORD, DRIVE YOUR PLOW THROUGH THE THINGS I KEEP SEPARATED FROM YOUR INVOLVEMENT.
If we don’t allow God in, we are missing out on fruitfulness. This leads us to the last parable…
4. The Parable
"And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matt. 13:8-9)
"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matt. 13:23)
When we allow the plow of Gospel through our lives, we become fruitful. In order to be fruitful, we need to spend time in the Word. We need to allow the Word to study us. We need God to instruct us. But we have a great barrier that keeps us from being fruitful and that is being in a hurry. Our lives are busy. So we need to pray…
LORD, DRIVE YOUR PLOW THROUGH THE HURRIED PACE OF MY DAILY LIFE SO YOU CAN SPEAK TO ME.
In conclusion, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to ask ourselves what kind of heart we have. Is it plowed by Holy Spirit? Why am shallow in my commitments? Have I taken for granted the things of God and what is important to God? Then ask God to allow the plow of the Spirit to go through the areas of your life and watch the wonders God can do with your life!
1. What is a parable?
2. Why did Jesus speak in parables?
3. What kind of soil is your heart?
4. What keeps you from the plow of the Holy Spirit?
5. Are you fruitful? If not, what is keeping you from being so?