Matthew 13:8 – Seed Sown in “Good Ground”
In his parable about the man who sowed seed, Jesus said that some of the seed “fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Mt. 13:8).
Later, in explaining the parable to his disciples, the Lord told what he meant by “good” soil. This type of ground represented a certain quality of person—the one who readily listens to the word (symbolized by the seed) and understands it (Mt. 13:23). Mark describes the good soil as those who “accept” the seed (4:20), while Luke characterizes the fruit-producing soil as those who have an “honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast…” (8:15).
A consideration of these passages clearly indicates that in order to become a citizen in Christ’s kingdom, one must have a disposition amenable to the truth, indeed, a love for truth (cf. 2 Thes. 2:10).
One of the great examples of this sort of “open mindedness” was found in the people of Berea, a city visited by Paul on his second missionary campaign. Luke described them as follows:
“Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the scriptures daily whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
There are three terms in this passage that illustrate the “good ground” attitude.
First, Luke says they “received” the word. The verb signifies to welcome, to receive eagerly.
Second, they possessed a “readiness of mind.” Actually, this reflects only one word in the original, prothumia (pro – “forward,” and thumos – mind). The word beautifully pictures a sort of stretching the mind forward in keen anticipation.
Third, there is the present participle, “examining” (anakrino – an intensified term meaning to scrutinize carefully), the tense suggesting persistence.
Make notes on these special words. Circle “good” in Matthew 13:8, and in your margin note: See Acts 17:11. Your notes there will serve you well.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.