RECEIVING THE WORD
2. "And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3. Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up."
On many occasions, as Jesus interacted with the people of His time, He sought to teach them the truth, through the use of parables. A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. In Mark 4, Jesus told the parable of the sower. Verse 3 points out that the sower, who is Jesus went out to sow seeds. The purpose for which Jesus came to this world was to sow seeds of truth, which is the Word of God. Verse 4 tells us what occurred as He sowed the seeds.
"Some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up." Jesus gave meaning to each aspect of the parable. The meaning of the seed that fell by the wayside is given in verse 15 of the chapter.
Mark 4:15 "And these are they by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts."
It is Satan's intent to prevent us from receiving the truth, and when we receive it, he spares no effort to uproot the Word from our minds or even to distort our belief in God. He wants men and women, boys and girls to continue to live lives that oppose the principles of God.
John 17:17 states, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Sanctification, which means to be consecrated, or set apart to be used by God, is the work of the lifetime. Sanctification can only be accomplished by the aid of the Holy Spirit. When we are sanctified through God's Word, it means that our value systems are gradually opposed to the world's, and are therefore becoming harmonized with God's will. As such, we allow truth to do its work in our lives. Consequently, the transformational power of the Word is gradually realized. Daily, God supplies the power for the change. Being recipients of the Word means that many virtues are developed and exhibited. The Word helps us to be kind, compassionate, and loving to each other. It shows us the need to honor and respect our parents. The Word indicates why we need to be honest in all our undertakings. The Word points out our wrongdoing and guides us to rightful living. In essence, the Word builds our characters, so that we become dutiful law-abiding citizens.
We only have two options. We can choose to allow Satan to take away the Word that was sown in our hearts, or we can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to cause the seed (the Word) to germinate. May we choose to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that our relationship with Jesus can grow from strength to strength.