Consider the good and fruitful ground.
“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. Note that as there were three types of bad ground so there are three types of good ground.
1. What makes good ground?
Three features: “Hear”, “Receive”, “Bring forth”. You can see the progress of growth here.
- “Hear” – first use in NT. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him,” Matthew 2:3. Hearing followed by reaction.
- “Receive” – akin to “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet,” Matthew 10:14. Door shut in the face of!
- “Bring forth fruit”: Here is what it means. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Cols 1:10.
2. This how to have a successful, fruitful Christian life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22.
3. Note the different degrees of fruitfulness.
“Some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Paul speaks “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Cors 15:10. Notice Paul takes no honour for his labours. All Christians do not attain to the same level of fruitfulness. Not every stalk of barley brings forth the same number of kernels. Some more than others.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Cor 3:8. Read 1 Cor 12:6-11.
All we are asked to do is our best. “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,” Matthew 25:20-23.
Faithfulness is rewarded and not really the amount done! “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8.
Stream or download The parables #12