Grass Doesn't Grow Under the Basketball Goal

  Matthew 13:1-23


I. ILL: Under my old basketball goal (Grass didn't grow).

    A. The human heart is much like that.

II. Jesus presents the "Parable of the Sower" or "Parable of the Soil" (Mat 13:1-9; 18-23).

    A. The parable is Prophetic.

    B. The parable is Profound.

    C. The parable is Personal.



    A. The People (2).

    B. The Parable - Para "besides"; Ballo "to throw."

        1. A comparison between a familiar fact & a spiritual truth.

    C. The Palestinian Activity - broadcasting seed.

    D. The Problem (Mat 13:1-2; Jn 6:24-25, 66).

        1. Jesus is talking about the kingdom of heaven.


    A. The sower represents the teacher or preacher of God's Word (Mat 28:18-20).

        (Psa 126:5-6).

        1. The sower goes out to sow (Eccl 11:6; 1 Cor 3:6; 2 Cor 9:6).


    A. The seed is the Word (Lk 8:11).

        1. The seed contains life (life germ) (Jn 6:63; 1 Pet 1:23- being born again).
        2. The seed brings forth after its kind (Gen 1:12; Ax 11:26).
        3. The seed is indispensable to kingdom growth (Ax 8:4).
        4. The seed is able to save (Js 1:21- receive with meekness; Rom 1:16).


    A. The soil represents the hearts of men & women.

        1. The word that is sown is an unprepared heart has no better opportunity to spring and grow than         does seed that is sown in unprepared soil (Ezek 18:31).

    B. The soil varied as does the heart (soil samples).

        1. Soil Sample of the Indifferent Heart (13:4, 19).

            a. Closed Mind.

                (1) Pride (Ax 26:28 - Agrippa).
                (2) Prejudice (2 Thess 2:10-12).
                (3) Procrastination (Acts 24:25).

        2. Soil Sample of the Shallow Heart (13:5-6, 20-21).

            a. Clouded Mind.

                (1) Temptations (James 1:2).

                    (a) The young are tempted (Joseph).
                    (b) The strong are tempted (Samson).
                    (c) The common are tempted (Gehazi & Achan).
                    (d) The perfect are tempted (Jesus).

                (2) Troubles [ Family, Economic, Health] (Mat 6:34; John 16:33).
                (3) Thrills [Emotional, Superficial, Impulsive] (Luke 14:26-30).

        3. Soil Sample of the Cluttered Heart (13:7, 22).

            a. Choked Mind.

                (1) Worries (Mat 6:25).
                (2) Wealth  (Mat 6:24).
                (3) Worldliness  (Mat 6:19-21).

        4. Soil Sample of the Receptive Heart (13:8, 23).

            a. Committed Mind.

                (1) Hears (Mat 7:24).
                (2) Honest heart (Mark 4:20).
                (3) Holds to the Word (Luke 8:15).

                    (a) Notice the different rates of fruit bearing.


    A. There is no salvation apart from the life-giving Word.

    B. The seed has no power to convert until it is sown.

    C. Not all sowing will be "productive" (25%).

    D. The Kingdom of Heaven will always exist as long as the seed of the Kingdom exists.

    E. We must not allow influences to harden us to the truth.

    F. Materialism can choke out our love for the truth.

    G. A child of God can fall away.

    H. All who are faithful will bear fruit but not at the same rate.

    I. We can be faithful unto death.


I. What is your heart like?

    A. Wayside Ground.

    B. Stony Ground.

    C. Thorny Ground.

    D. Good Ground.


This sermon contains my thoughts and material researched from other sources.


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Alan C. Cole

26th St. Church of Christ

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