Monday, September 21, 2009

Third Down and Goal - The PENALTY

In our Touchdown Jesus message series we continue to study the parable of the sower that Jesus told in Matthew 13. The parable of the sower involves three elements. The Sower represents anyone who proclaims the message of Jesus. The Seed represents the Word of God or the Gospel. And the four Soils represent the four types of hearts that respond to the message of Jesus that they hear.

But what if Jesus had told this parable in the context of football rather than the context of agriculture? What if instead of a sower we had a quarterback? What if instead of the seed we had the football? And what if instead of the four soils we had the four receivers or the four pass plays? How would the parable look then?

We have already seen the seed that fell beside the road (v4). We called this the indifferent heart. This is one who hears the Word but does not understand it (Matthew 13:19) due to hardness of heart (Matthew 13:15). Instead, the birds of the air, which represents the devil, comes and steals the seed. In terms of a football play, this would be the pass that results in an interception.

We also have already looked at the seed that fell on rocky places (v5-6). This the impulsive heart. This is one who hears and receives the word immediately with joy on the surface (Matthew 13:20) but because their faith has no root, the product is only surface and endures for a short while (Matthew 13:21). In football terms, this is the pass play that result in an incompletion.

Last Sunday we looked at the seed that fell among the thorns (v7). According to Jesus parable, some seeds fell in soil infested with thorns. Though the plant began to grow nicely, as the thorns grow as well, they choked out the plants. No fruit resulted. We could call this the indulgent heart or the worldly hearer. This soil represents the person who hears the Word and seems to respond but whose ability to bear fruit is choked out by his preoccupation with three things:

They are choked by cares of this world (Matthew 13:22).

They are choked by the deceit of riches (Matthew 13:22).

They are choked by the pleasures of life (Luke 8:14).

In terms of football, this is the pass play that appears to be a touchdown, resulting in celebration and high fives. But the joy is soon removed when the yellow flag is seen on the field. An offensive penalty occurred. The ball is brought back. No touchdown. No score. No points. No salvation. No forgiveness. No eternal life.

Next Sunday we will see the only soil that produces fruit…the only pass play that results in a TD!

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