23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
23 Verse 23. Good ground] That which had depth of mould, was well
ploughed, and well weeded.
Is he that heareth] Who diligently attends the ministry of the
And understandeth it] Lays the subject to heart, deeply
weighing its nature, design, and importance.
Which also beareth fruit] His fruitfulness being an almost
necessary consequence of his thus laying the Divine message to
heart. Let it be observed, that to hear, to understand, and to
bring forth fruit, are the three grand evidences of a genuine
believer. He who does not hear the word of wisdom cannot
understand what makes for his peace; and he who does not
understand what the Gospel requires him to be and to perform,
cannot bring forth fruit; and he who is not fruitful, very
fruitful, cannot be a disciple of Christ-see Joh 15:8; and he
who is not Christ's disciple cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
From the different portions of fruit produced by the good
ground, a hundred, sixty, and thirty, we may learn that all sound
believers are not equally fruitful; all hear, understand, and
bring forth fruit, but not in the same degrees-occasioned, partly,
by their situation and circumstances not allowing them such
extensive opportunities of receiving and doing good; and, partly,
by lack of mental capacity-for every mind is not equally
Let it be farther observed that the unfruitfulness of the
different lands was not owing to bad seed or an unskilful
sower-the same sower sows the same seed in all, and with the same
gracious design-but it is unfruitful in many because they are
careless, inattentive, and worldly-minded.
But is not the ground naturally bad in every heart? Undoubtedly.
And can any but God make it good? None. But it is your business,
when you hear of the justice and mercy of God, to implore him to
work in you that which is pleasing in his sight. No man shall be
condemned because he did not change his own heart, but because he
did not cry to God to change it, who gave him his Holy Spirit for
this very purpose, and which he, by his worldly-mindedness and
impiety, quenched. Whoso hath ears to hear let him hear: and may
the Lord save the reader from an impenitent and unfruitful heart!