Bearing Fruit Manyfold from Right Soil
IN MOST parts of the earth the past season’s crops have been harvested and farmers are viewing the results. For some it was a good year full of joy and satisfaction; for others it was a poor year heavy with sorrow and disappointment. Not all the seed planted sprang up, not all that came up grew to maturity and produced fruit, and not all that bore fruit produced an abundant quantity with high quality. Since poor condition of the soil in many cases was the principal cause for failure, successful farming begins with planting the seed in the right kind of soil. And so it is with the Kingdom truth. It must be planted in good soil if fruitfulness for eternal life either in heaven or in paradise earth is to be realized.*
Jesus’ parable or illustration of a sower showed that no partiality would be shown; the message of the established Kingdom, symbolized by the “seed”, would be scattered far and wide among all kinds of men—on the crusty roadside, the rocky places, weed patches of thorns and thistles, and some upon good, fertile soil.—Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23; 1 Tim. 2:3, 4.
Just look at the soil along the side of the road! Beaten and packed hard by the pounding traffic of those madly racing after commercial, political, military and social pursuits. Why, the message of God’s kingdom has no chance to sink down or take root in the hearts of such preoccupied individuals. As a result the seed sown among these hard-surfaced and crusty-hearted persons is soon snatched up and gobbled down by Satan the Devil and his religious “black birds” and vultures.—Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12; John 8:44.
Other seeds of gospel truth fall on the ears of those that Jesus likens to “rocky” soil. At first they receive the message about God’s kingdom with joy, but later, when the scorching heat of persecution and ridicule beats upon them, the tender blades of truth that began to sprout in them wilt and die out altogether. Beneath their shallow surface soil these people have a hard, stony heart that holds no moisture and prevents the truth from taking deep root. Foolish people, who do not appreciate that all true Christians are bound to suffer persecution!—John 15:20; 16:2-4, 33; 2 Tim. 3:12.
With others it is a case of trying to raise a double crop off the same ground. They receive the Kingdom message but the thorns they allow to grow up in their hearts soon choke and kill it. These persons are so deeply tangled up in the briery affairs of this old world that their whole time and attention are taken up with the cares and anxieties of life.
Last of all, Jesus describes the good and happy results obtained when the Kingdom message falls upon the right kind of soil. “These are the ones that, after hearing the word with a right and good heart, retain it and bear fruit with endurance.” (Luke 8:15, NW) They produce abundantly, “this one a hundredfold, that one sixty, the other thirty.” (Matt. 13:23, NW) So it is the heart condition that makes the difference between barrenness and fruitfulness, between death and life.
The fruit produced is the “sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration” concerning Jehovah’s glorious Word and name and purposes. (Rom. 10:10; Heb. 13:15, NW) So keep your heart receptive to the truth. “My Father is glorified in this,” Jesus said, “that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples.”—John 15:8, NW.
For full coverage of this subject see The Watchtower, December 1, 1950.