Without Excuse

Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23 “The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear . . . Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Text Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen . . . so that they are without excuse.”

The fallen nature of man makes him a creature of excuses. Man has always tried to offer an excuse for his sin, even the first one (see Genesis 3:12). In Matthew 13, Jesus delivers the “Parable of the Sower” in which He details four responses to His Word. The different types of soil are indicative of man’s spiritual state. Firstly, there is the callous soil, “some seeds fell by the wayside” (vs.4). In this state, there is contact but no conviction! The Word is denied access and its message rejected as mere folly. Secondly, there is the crowded soil, “Some fell upon stony places” (vs.5). The Word is given limited access, but there is far more stone than soil to work with. The Word flourishes just enough to bring the heat of persecution and quickly the Word is denied the opportunity for growth. Thirdly, there is the competitive soil, “some fell among thorns” (vs.7). The Word is given open access, but soon discovers that it must compete with the thorns of prosperity and riches which would prove to be no problem if it were not for the fact that the flesh and not faith determines the outcome! Dominated by the appetites of the flesh, the Word is starved out. Lastly, there is the cultivated soil, “other fell into good ground” (vs.8). The Word is given unlimited access where it flourishes and abounds with the fruit of the Spirit! Do the other types of soil have an excuse for the absence of fruit? No; for all were exposed to the same seed, the same season, and same sower! The fruitless soil is without excuse and so are we!