We're going to take most of the teaching time today introducing the important theme of this parable. So don't panic if my first point comes near the end of this message. When it comes to how to get the most out of God's Word, I can't think of any passage more central in importance or nearer to the heart of Jesus. The very first words of verse 1 tell us something important about the background of this, perhaps the most famous of Jesus' parables - "That same day..." What day? It was the same day containing the events of Matthew chapter twelve. Matthew thirteen deals with the entry and development of the kingdom in our lives. The main point of this parable is quite simple. The seed sown is the Word of the Kingdom - the message of the gospel - the Word of God. Jesus identifies that for us in verses 19 and 22 - "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.... As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful."
So we see the Word, though powerful in itself, doesn't have the same effect in every life. The potential of the Word to produce change and fruit is determined by the quality and readiness of the soil - the heart that hears the message. And it's right at this point that those opening words of Matthew thirteen reveal an amazing truth. "That same day..." These ideas from Jesus didn't just pop out of the air. He had encountered some rugged opposition to His Word and His work the very same day He spoke this parable. And that opposition is recorded in detail in Matthew chapter 12.