The Parable of the Sower- Part 2

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The Parable of the Sower (Part 2)
Text: Matthew 13:1–9 (KJV 1900)
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Introduction:
The background of the Parable of the Sower
* The circumstances that set up, or lay the background for the giving of the Parable of the Sower stem from the earlier confrontations that John the Baptist and Jesus had with the Rulers of the Temple.
* John the Baptist and Jesus had rebuked the rulers of the Temple about their relationship to God.
* They both told the Jews that their nationality is not what makes them children of Abraham and of God, but their relationship and obedience to the word of God.
* In the Parable of the Sower that we have before us this morning, Jesus develops the idea that when the seed of the Word of God enters into Good soil, or a heart that is willing to believe the Word of God, that person will show the fruits of repentance toward God.
* So, what we will find in the Parable of the Sower is, that the “fruit” of the good soil is an attitude of humbleness and repentance before God.
* That is exactly what we saw when we preached from the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5.
* Listen to the words of John the Baptist when he saw the unrepentant Pharisees and Sadducees come to him to be baptized:
Matthew 3:7–10 (KJV 1900)
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
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Addendum: The Axe Laid to the Root
Matthew 21:18–20 (KJV 1900)
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Matthew 21:28–46 (KJV 1900)
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them,
Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
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* So what was this fiery preacher John the Baptist saying to the Pharisees and Sadducees?
* To put in the simplest terms, John told the religious Pharisees and Sadducees of his day “If you don’t show the fruit of repentance, you are going to Hell.
* The East Tennessee county preacher would have worded what John said this way:
“If you don’t repent of your sins, and listen to the Word of God, when you die, you’re going to split Hell wide open!
* John the Baptist said that there were two kinds of trees, the good and the bad.
* The good trees that bring forth fruit will continue to grow in the Kingdom, but the bad trees will be cut down with an axe and thrown into the fire!
* The trees represent the hearts of men in the Kingdom of God, which is made up of both good and bad, believers and unbelievers, saved and lost.
* There are two kinds of people in the Kingdom of God,
the good- who are allowed to continue and go into the final state of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and the bad, those who show no fruit of repentance, and will ultimately be thrown into Hell.
* Remember now, Jesus told these same religious rulers of the Temple, that their nationality and their religion are not what makes them children of Abraham and of God, but their relationship and obedience to the word of God.
* It was John the Baptist who said that verse we love to quote about
John 1:11–12 (KJV 1900)
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
* Who has the power to become the sons of God?
* Those who’s hearts are like the good soil of the Parable of the Sower, that obey the Word of god when they hear it!
* The fruit of repentance is obedience to the Gospel when it enters into the heart!
* Listen to the words of the Apostle John in his gospel, he tells of not John the Baptist, but Jesus, as Jesus had the same conversation with the self-righteous, religious Jews.
* They also thought that just because they were the children of Abraham they, would be allowed to enter into the final state of the Kingdom of Heaven, but Jesus rebuked them in John 8:31-47:
John 8:31–47 (KJV 1900)
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…
37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them,
If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
* This confrontation with those Jews who thought that they were God’s children because of their nationality, and their self-righteous religion, is what brings about the discussion that Jesus is having with His disciples concerning the Kingdom of God.
* We have the same problem today, as in the days of Jesus, most people believe that they are going to heaven because they were born into a Christian family, or because they were born into a Christian nation, or they think they are going to heaven when they die because their names are an a church roll somewhere.
* Jesus will say to these people someday "depart from me for I never knew you."
Matthew 7:13–27 (KJV 1900)
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
* In our next parable we will learn that the good seed of men and the bad seed of men, the saved and unsaved, the repentant and the un repentant, will both be allowed to grow up in the Kingdom of God togeather, and they will be separated when the Kingdom takes it’s final form in the melenial reign of Jesus.
* A that time is when the Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus who sits upon the throne of his Kingdom is Lord.
* And so Jesus begins to tell the parable of the sower which is about the relationship of men’s hearts to the Word of God, Matthew 13, verse says that the sower went out to show seed, and that that seed was the “Word of the Kingdom.”
* The remaining verses of the Parable of the Sower tell of the relationship of men’s heart to the Word of God that is being sowed.
* This is the background that leads us up to the Parable of the Sower.
* The Parable of the Sower is about the relationship of the hearts of men to the sowing of the Word of God.
The purpose of the Parable of the sower
* Jesus had been rejected by the Religious leaders of the Temple, now those disciples who still follow Jesus are beginning to see the crowds begin to fall away from Jesus as well.
* The unbelief of the crowds must have been a bitter disappointment to the disciples.
* I am sure that some of the disciples were questioning in their minds, if Jesus was really the promised Messiah, why are so many beginning to reject Jesus?
* The purpose of the Parable of the Sower, was to explain to the discouraged, and confused disciples of Jesus, why the Kingdom had not yet arrived in great grandeur, glory, and power.
The interpretation of the parable of the Sower
* The Sower in the parable is Jesus.
* The Field is the Kingdom of God which consists of Good and Bad as we find out in the next parable of the wheat and the tares.
* There are only two kinds of soil in this parable- Good and Bad.
* The Seed in this parable is the "preaching of the word" of the Kingdom or the "Word of God"
* The Parable of the sower is about preaching the gospel- sowing the word of God.
* That's what this parable is all about.
* It's about preaching the Word about the King and His kingdom, telling men that Jesus is the King of all God’s creation and the kingdoms of men on the earth.
* Sowing the seed is all about preaching and teaching about the good news of the King and His kingdom...
* This morning I want you as a church to realize that the work of the Kingdom is sowing the seed of the word of God.
* Let’s take this down even further, like J. Vernon Mcgee used to say, “where the rubber meets the road.”
* Your main priority in life as a member of body of Christ, the church, is the business of sowing the seed of the Gospel.
* People across this nation this morning will show up at church and expect that when the preacher has finished his sermon, people should come forward to be saved.
* If there has been no sowing of the seed during the week by the church members, you cannot expect the pastor to have any results when he stands and invites people to come in the invitation and be saved!
* But we find in most churches today lazy, self-righteous congregations that refuse to be about the business of the Kingdom, sowing the seed of the Gospel.
* Those same people, after a time will call the pastor to a meeting and say something like this-
“Pastor, you have been here for some time now, and we are just not seeing the results we thing we should be seeing. We don’t thing that God is using you here, and we feel like we need to call another pastor.”
* If we are to see large numbers of people walk the isles of our church for salvation, then we must sow many, many seeds.
* According to this Parable of the Sower we have before us this morning, much of the seed we throw out will be rejected!
* God did not call your pastor to sow all the seeds in the church. God called your pastor to equip the church members to sow the seed that together there will be a great harvest of souls in the church!
Ephesians 4:11–12 (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry…
* Who is to do the ministry here- the pastors or the saints? We call the pastors the ministers, but God said the pastors are the trainers and the equippers, the coaches- and the church members are the ministers!
* And where do the saints minister? In the church? No, they minister out in the fields of the world!
John 4:31–36 (KJV 1900)
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
* If a church is to have a steady flow of people who come forward in the invitation on Sunday morning, then all the members of that church will need to share in the responsibility to be soul winners and get those who need to be saved down that isle on Sunday morning!
The meaning of the four soils.
* First is what He calls the wayside soil
* Verse 4.
"And when he sowed, some of the
seeds fell by the way side and the fowls came and devoured them."
* In the days of Jesus, Palestine, was crisscrossed with long narrow fields were men planted crops.
* These strips of cultivated fields were separated from other strips and other fields by paths.
* The paths were only about three feet or so wide ... narrow paths.
* Those were used by the farmers to get in between the fields to get to whatever fields they wanted to reach.
* These narrow paths were also used by the travelers of that day who were going from one part of the country to another.
* We find even in Matthew chapter 12 that the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples were walking through the fields of grain, and
no doubt they were walking on those little paths that were for that purpose.
* There were no fences around the fields, there were no walls surrounding the fields, just these little narrow paths for travelers
and for the farmer to get around in his area.
* No doubt this is what Jesus has pictured in His mind when He talks about the sees that fell by the way side.
* The dirt would be packed down, beaten hard, uncultivated, never turned over, never loosened, and by all of the continual pounding and pounding and because of the dryness of that part of the world, it would be compacted to the point where it was like a road, it was as hard as pavement.
* And when the farmer came along and threw the seed and it went beyond the furrow he had plowed, and landed on that hard surface, the seed could not penetrate the ground.
* And it would lie there on the top and birds would hover, no doubt, until the farmer turned his back and as he started down the next furrow, they would land on the hard surface and they would eat the seed.
* And what they did not eat, Luke says, was trampled by the feet
of men who were passing through the fields.
* That's the way side, or the hard soil. The birds and the feet of men remove the seed so cannot penetrate the soil.
The interpretation of the Hard soil-
* This first kind of soil represents the heart of a person who has not understood the message of the kingdom because of willful rejection.
* They have heard the preaching of the Word of God, they know that it is for their benefit, but the refuse to act on the Word that they have heard.
* When hard hearts hear the gospel message, and they hard heartedly refuse to obey the gospel, God will allow that message away from their heart.
* It is a dangerous thing to turn away, and not obey when we hear the Seed of the World of God.
* When we refuse to let it get through the hard surface of our hearts, and let the World of God remain deep in the soil of our heart, the birds, who represent the Devil, and the feet of men, that represent the lure of the world, will take away that seed and the end result will de the destruction of the soul in Hell.
Then you come to the stony soil in verse 5,
* "Some fell," and this would be very true because of the method of sowing, the seed would scatter and fall in different places and this one would fall on stony places, or rocky places,
"...where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched and because they had
no root, they withered away."
Luke adds, "They had no moisture," there was no root to capture the
moisture.
* Now what is this?
* Well, it's not talking about soil with rocks in it because any farmer who cultivated a field would make sure all the rocks were out.
* The land of Israel, , has running through it strains of limestone rock bed.
* In very many places, this rock bed surges up in the earth and becomes close to the top of the soil.
* There would be just inches beneath the top of the soil, solid rock bed limestone.
* If you were cultivating a field you might not see that shallow dirt, or you might be unable in the cultivating process to break up that rock bed, and so right beneath the soil is this rock.
* When the seed falls in this shallow soil, it begins to germinate and tries to shoot its roots down, but hit the rock bed, and have nowhere to go.
* All of the moisture and the sun that's there close to the surface of the soil generates the seeds upward so they spring up, probably higher
than the other grain and the other seed that fell in deeper soil.
* The seed in the deeper soil has to grow both up and down and takes a while to reaches the surface.
* The soil that is in the shallow ground causes all of it’s growth to quickly shoot up and flourishes immediately.
* But when the hot sun comes out, the rock bed hinders the new plants.
* The young plants dry up and wither away, because their roots are not strong enough to find moisture and they die in the summer heat.
The Interpretation of the Rocky, or stony soil-
* This is the person who hears the Word and immediately with joy receives it.
* And the indication is that there's not a lot of thought involved.
* It's just sort of a quick response, an emotional experience.
* A sort of euphoria, sort of instant excitement without counting the cost, without understanding the real significance.
* There's a warm affection, there's a good feeling and there's a lot of joy and the thing just shoots right up there!
* And all of the energy is going up and it's all external and it's all on the outside because there's nothing underneath, because that rock bed of resistance is still there to true repentance, to true brokenness, to true contrition, there's just a soft surface, that's all.
* There is still a proud unrepentant heart just underneath the surface of their new found “religious” experience.
* If you have been involved with church for any amount of time, you not doubt had seen people like that.
* They don't really ever deal with the real issue is sin, and repentance.
* They just sort of jump on the Jesus Bandwagon!
* Christianity looks so good to them!
* TheY get on the Christian bandwagon and shoot up, and it may even seem like they shoot higher and faster than the rest of the people who are really going to bear fruit!
* That’s because everything is going up to the brain, and there is nothing taking root in the heart!
* Those are the ones we say - Ah, now that's real ... boy, that is real ... look at the joy, oh, tears, and joy, and that's got to be real!
* Have you ever saw someone shoot up like that, and three months later, they are gone?
* All that was really there, was all the euphoria.
* Maybe they wanted to feel like they belonged to a movement…
* Maybe they were coming out of a deep problem, and they reached for out for Christianity, and there's sort of an instant feeling – “I've got it now, God's on my side.”
* Or, maybe it was inadequate or misleading evangelism effort, and there's so much of this going on today.
* People who just talk about a happy-go-lucky Jesus kind of relationship and they jump on the bandwagon and now there's a happiness and a joy that comes because they belong to something.
* Finally they have found acceptance, or you've been kind to them, so now they have a sort of a sense that everything's okay, and everything is now wonderful on the surface, but they've never really plowed the soil of the heart underneath.
* They're like the guy who built the house on the...what? ... on the sand.
* They built the house all right, I mean, it's up there.
* The religious structure is there, nothing holding it up ... superficial joy.
* Now, if you look at the field at first, you don't really notice these people except that they stick out because they're taller than everybody else and you say - Boy, they have got to be real, look at that, isn't that
exciting?
* And you come back a little later when the summer heat of life hits them, the moisture is very limited, the sun is very hot and now you see them dead!
* Our text says in verse 12. "He has no root in himself, so he
endures for a while."
* They have never been redeemed, they just sort of accepted the seed, but their relationship to the World of God has never been really genuine.
* They endure for a little while, and what finally does them in?
* Tribulation and persecution, pressure and suffering come into their life because of the Word of God, because they belong to Christ, because of living according to the Word of God, because of being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ, and all of a sudden some
pressure comes!
* There's maybe a pressure to really begin to live the Christian life.
*There's maybe pressure that comes when people around you are saying I want you to get into a Bible study, I want to meet with you to have prayer!
* I want to disciple you and all of a sudden they begin to feel the pressure coming!
* And then there's persecution. You're a Christian and now people start to say things aboutyou!
* They start to knock you. They start to criticize you.
* Well, this kind of shallow person will not be able to survive that ...
because there's no root there ... there's no depth.
* This is so insightful, isn't it? It's so helpful because Jesus tells us to expect this kind of thing.
* I know ahead of time that when I pray with someone to receive Jesus Christ, they may turn out to be this kind of person.
* And when you see a very immediate, very instantaneous and a sort of euphoric response, there's something in you that says this might be rocky soil- this may not last!
* You must ask yourself “Where's the depth and the brokenness that should accompany true repentance?
* Where is the counting of the cost to follow Jesus?
Now verse 7 introduces us to the thorny or better, weedy soil...
* "Some fell among thorns, or weeds, and the thorns, or weeds, sprang up and choked them."
* Now, this soil looks good, it's deep, it's rich, it's turned over, it's tilled, it's cultivated.
* It looks clean and it looks ready and the seed falls down into that area and it begins to germinate.
* But along with the good seed, there are roots of weeds.
* The weeds are natural to the soil, and they grow faster and stronger than the good plants.
* The weeds choke the life out of the good plants, and the plant dies, and does not bear any fruit in the end.
The interpretation of the thorny soil (v. 22).
* The seed among thorns, Jesus said, represents those who hear the word of the kingdom but are unfruitful because of “the worry of the world”
* The deceitfulness of riches” and worry over the cares of this life choke out the good seed of the Word of God that has been planted in the heart.
* If you will remember, these twin dangers of anxiety and wealth were subjects in our recent series on the Sermon on the Mount back in chapters 5 and 6 of Matthew.(6:19–34; cf. 19:23–24).
* “Anxiety and worry” over problems keep the Word of God from taking root in a person’s heart.
*Anxiety and Worry keep a person from thinking about their need to respond to and obey the Gospel and repent and be saved.
* The Devil uses the temporary trinkets of riches and wealth to fill the mind with thoughts that crowd out the World of God and the Gospel.
* This person is too busy with the cheap trinkets of this world to realize that the Word of God, the Gospel is the greatest treasure this life has to offer.
* The world of God get crowded out by the weeds of this life and the seed dies, sending the soul to Hell.
Finally, in verse 8, is the good soil.
* "Other seed fell into good ground and brought forth fruit. Some in
hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold."
* Now, here is deep, soft, clean soil. It's soft, unlike the hard way side.
* It's deep, unlike the stony limestone ground. And it's clean, unlike the weed infested soil.
* And there the seed bursts into life and it brings forth a tremendous harvest, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.
The interpretation of the good soil (v. 23).
* Jesus identified the good soil as “the man who hears the Word and understands it” and brings forth various levels of fruitfulness.
* Those who’s hearts are like the good soil of the Parable of the Sower, that obey the Word of god when they hear it!
* The fruit of repentance is obedience to the Gospel when it enters into the heart!
* When we started out this moring, we said that Jesus and John the Baptist both told the Jews that their nationality is not what makes them children of Abraham and of God, but their relationship and obedience to the word of God.
* In the Parable of the Sower that we have before us this morning, Jesus develops the idea that when the seed of the Word of God enters into Good soil, or a heart that is willing to believe the Word of God, and act on it, that person will show the fruits of repentance toward God.
* So, what we will find in the Parable of the Sower is, that the “fruit” of the good soil is an attitude of humbleness and repentance before God that moves is to act on what we have heard.
* Have you acted upon the seed in your heart yet? You have heard the truth, are you ready to act upon it?
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