Preference should be given for the simplicity of interpretation. We shall have to learn why this different style of teaching was now used by Jesus, as well as how such parables should be studied. Jesus delivered this discourse to the crowds, not the disciples, but He explained things to the disciples. The evidence of saving faith is a growing spiritual life. K. Bailey (Poet and Peasant, pp. But then He added, “whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.” It was not given to the people to know the mysteries of the kingdom because they did not possess something, there was something they lacked. 18 Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. But those who do will produce “fruit.” The faith that they have will be developed by revelation being given to them. The people had been listening to Jesus preach and teach, had seen the authenticating miracles, and yet accused Him of Satanic works and rejected His word. God prepares the ground that will receive the message by faith. The chapter is a set discourse of Jesus, and not a collection of truths taken from the Lord’s ministry at different times and set out by Matthew as a sequence of teachings. It was their faith in Christ. This section is most helpful then, because not only does it explain why parables were being used, but gives the meaning of the parable itself. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-re-163-the-sower-and-the- This parable of the growing seed is a very short story.According to Jesus, \"The kingdom of God is as if [a person] would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. In thirty years, we will have heard this parable ten times, yet it remains ever fresh, ever new, and its meaning changes a bit to the current circumstances in our lives. Some people have strong faith and remain dedicated to a Christian lifestyle, even when things are difficult. This is the way that judicial hardening works. So to understand parables the student of the Bible has to get into the ancient culture a good deal. It would be too easy to say that the only reason Jesus used parables was to conceal the truth, for parables are a means of communication. Any seed that started to grow in the shallow soil soon withered in the intense heat and died because it could not sink roots. The technical definition of a parable is that it is an extended simile. The Parable of the Growing Seed Mark 4.26-29. In view of this He chose to use parables to begin to uncover the faith of true disciples, and to demonstrate judgment on those who refused to see and hear.. Jesus, the King, was approaching a crisis in His presentation of Himself when it would be necessary to challenge peoples’ faith concerning His mission and indeed His identity. Now that their rejection has been officially recorded, Jesus began to teach the people with parables. And the fact that God foreknew they would do this does not in any way diminish their culpability. During the sowing stage the seed is “cast,” or embedded in the ground. 4 And seeing you shall see and not perceive. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. But the text says that they also conceal the truth from those who refuse to believe. The crowds did not, on the whole, follow by faith, but demanded a compelling sign. The parable of the sower would require the hearers to see the truth that the kingdom is slowly progressing, and if that be so, to determine what kind of soil they were. A parable is designed to focus on one aspect of the kingdom, in one period of the development of the kingdom. The parables do not contain esoteric truths that only the initiated or enlightened could understand--they seem pretty clear. The person remains in the thicket of the problems and cares of life. That happened in Isaiah’s case with the exile. Read about our approach to external linking. In the last chapter of the book we saw how strong the opposition to Jesus had grown, and how Jesus warned the people of the danger they were in if they rejected Him, their Messiah. The evidence of those who receive it by faith and act on it is that their lives will change and they will produce righteousness. The Savior was still among them, and they could still follow Him and trust Him. They looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, but the disciples received Him, walked with Him, witnessed His mighty works, and were shown things that the prophets never knew. Now this parable is this: the seed is the word of God. This audio sermon and transcript is entitled 'The Parable Of The Growing Seed', and is from the ministry of David Legge, a Christian preacher and Bible teacher from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Even for a while Jesus had to use parables for His disciples, and explain them to them, for they had not quite developed in their faith and understanding of the message of the kingdom. In the Parable of the Growing Seed, Jesus tells of a man who scatters seed on the ground and then allows nature to take its course. To discover the intent of the parable the simple, straightforward meaning is most likely to be the correct one. Sowing seeds was something Jesus’ listeners knew something about. Jesus’ story is called the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). We are not left to speculate about these things, for the text records Jesus’ answer. 218-242). 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. What’s the message of this parable? But the principle was that if they continue to sow, if they continued to expend any effort for the greater cause, there would be a result, there would be people coming down the road from the east to return to the land. The call to action for us in our modern financial world is no different than it was to the farmers hearing this story. To answer it we have to note the circumstances of the chapter. The responsibility for their unbelief is their own entirely, because mortals always do as they choose. The parable of the sower of seed (Matthew 13: 1–9, 18–23), An illustration of the parable of the sower, published in 1877. There were paths that ran through the unfenced field, and in those places the ground was beaten down so that it was too hard to receive seed, and the birds ate it. The seed on the rocky ground represents people who respond with initial enthusiasm, but the word of God does not sink in deep. The Israelites understood farming because it was their culture, so they could appreciate what Jesus was saying, whether they got the intended analogy or not. Give you child some seeds and ask them “which field would be the best to plant the seeds?” Remind your child that a parable is a story Jesus taught to help people understand important truths. It is a superficial response like the people who followed Jesus all over. Jesus drew from the common life of the people to explain some principle or teaching about the kingdom of heaven. Parables are designed to call the listener into participation, to identify with someone or something in the story. Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. Other seed fell under the thorns of hedgerows which took the moisture and grew up, choking the seed that had fallen among the thorns. There is no doubt that this can be done, for anything Jesus said would have eternal truth behind it and in it. As expected, only the seed that fell on the good soil grew to produce a harvest. . 16:17). The parable mentions three main stages in the process: sowing, growing, and reaping. This is one of the most familiar parables in the Bible, and probably will not need so much explanation, especially since it is one that Jesus interprets clearly for His disciples. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. The hard ground “by the way side” prevents the seed from sprouting at all, and the seed becomes nothing more than bird food. You know what happened; the plants grew and grew! And their natural way was to reject the words of the prophet. He does not explain every detail — no explanation is given for the sower, or the path, or the rocky ground, or the diverse yield. The purpose of using a parable is revelation by illustration. Then in verse 53 we have the summation of the discourse. 2 And great multitudes were gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. He announced the judgment of God on the nation for its unbelief. Some seed fell on rocky ground where there was little soil. One should have a consistent use of the figures employed, both within the context and the general use of Scripture, except where specifically otherwise stated. The passage is almost entirely the teaching Jesus, except for the introduction to the passage, the question by the disciples, and the citation from Isaiah. Matthew is showing that what is taking place on the one hand is the fulfillment of prophecy and the decreed will of God, and on the other hand a gross rebellion of unbelief and spiritual ignorance by the crowds. And part of the judgment was their being hardened in unbelief. 4. If Jesus were here teaching with parables today, they would all be different because the culture is different. Bible animation for kids based on Luke 8: 4-15, Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23, and Mark 4: 1-20. Isaiah said in his day “until the cities lie in ruins.” This means, until God judged the nation for unbelief and scattered them abroad. When persecution or hard times (represented by the sun) come along they give up at once. Psalm 126 spoke of the perseverance of the sower with tears and trouble, indicating that eventually he would bring in his sheaves. Some hear the message with great joy, but like the rocky soil he does not let it take root. Parable of the Mustard Seed – Mark 4:30-32, Matthew 13:31-35, Luke 13:18-21. Now, in this parable of the growing seed, Jesus is deal­ing with the process that the gospel message undergoes in the soul. It also appears in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas. 61f.) Jesus tells of a farmer who sows seed indiscriminately. In verses 1-3a we find they when the multitudes gathered around Him, He spoke to them in parables. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”. We have already discussed a good deal of this material in the introduction. And yet, year after year, they would persevere, knowing that some seeds would grow and ripen, even if many did not. Jesus does not explain why the kingdom is not now coming in power and glory, only that there are certain characteristics of the kingdom that need to be accepted. So in a sense the parable would provide an even wider door for people to enter if they had any faith at all. What the passage is saying is that the crowds stand in the tradition of the “wilfully blind” of the Old Testament, and the disciples stand in the tradition of the prophets and the righteous people of the Old Testament. Meaning of the Parable of the Sower and the Four Soils 5’ and understand with the heart, and should turn again and I should heal them. After Jesus and the disciples leave the crowds, they ask Him to interpret the parable for them: He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. When Jesus began his ministry he preached, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel”. People cannot commit to the Christian lifestyle. But God knew the hearts of the people, and if they did not believe the words and the works of Jesus in their midst, no further revelation would be given to them. The last group of seeds fell on good soil. The parable begins, “Behold, a farmer went out to sow…” Take it at face value. They reason that Jesus explained in this passage, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” Then He went on to say that “whoever has, to him shall be given.” The disciples had something, and because they possessed it, the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom was given to them. In verses 34 and 35, after the parables, Matthew explained why Jesus spoke in parables. Those seeds grew into plants, but the thorns choked them. In this parable, Jesus wanted the people to understand the effects of … Parables are designed to communicate truth in every day terms. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. But a few things need to be clarified now in the verses in context. But the ground, the human heart, might be hardened in unbelief, only superficially happy about the message, or too entangled with the cares of this world. The parable of the mustard seed is one of the shortest parables anyone will come across. They should have gotten it, because it was used in the Old Testament already. One should restrict the application of these pictures to the limits set out by Christ in the narrative. As the man who sowed the seed goes about his business day by day, the seed begins to have an effect. Jesus makes a distinction between the crowds and the disciples. The Setting of the Discourse (13:1-3a). Further revelation was not given to them. 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Parables challenge the hearers in matters of the faith. This is a large subject, as you could probably guess (some seminaries have courses on the parables), but we shall work with the basic principles to follow. or assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. So the parable is probably about the ground, which would mean the people who heard Christ’s message. The Explanation of Parables (13:10-17). The Parable of the Mustard Seed is one of the shorter parables of Jesus. But some hear and believe. The Interpretation of the Parable (13:18-23). And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so … But the disciples believed in the person and the work of Jesus, and so further revelation came to them, not just in the immediate explanation of the parable, or in the constant teaching of Jesus, but in the fact that the Spirit open their “eyes” and their “hearts” to understand. lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, Some times it might be an extended metaphor, or, an allegory, since it might not use “like” or “as.” The Hebrew word for it is masal [mah-shal]), which means “to be like.”. And yet in their sin and rebellion they had moved farther away from God than the people of the earlier centuries. The human heart is like receptive soil to the seed of the Word of God. And that was the end of the parable. And so they emphasize that the parable was a clear attempt by Jesus to reach those who did not believe or understand. That was the end of the parable. That is one view of parables. This is followed by the explanation of the reason for using parables by Jesus (10-17). So the same seed produces no crop, or some crop, or a great crop. The Parable of the Weeds 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Finally God gave them up, meaning He ceased to work in their hearts by His Spirit to reveal His truth to them. 11:25-27) and He would say to Peter later, “Flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven” (Matt. It was about a sower who scattered seed as he walked. The parable is a story or an illustration placed along side of a truth with the intention of explaining the one by the other. The passage, then, provides us with an introduction (1-3a), then the parable itself (3b-9). They lacked what the disciples possessed, the possession of which created within them the capacity for receiving the mysteries of the kingdom. What is being revealed to the disciples is not the person of Jesus or the nature of God, but the coming of the kingdom into history in advance of its glorious manifestation (Ladd, Presence, pp. Our tips from experts and exam survivors will help you through. So what was it that the disciples possessed and the others did not? Parable Meaning Significance for today; A man went out to sow grain. The soil that the seed fell on represents four categories of hearers' hearts, four different reactions to the Word of God: the hard heart, the shallow heart, the crowded heart, and the fruitful heart. Sign in, choose your GCSE subjects and see content that's tailored for you. To those who have, more will be given. And this view does justice to the text. But it makes continual progress. The soil on the path was hard because it was packed down. There are people who don’t live a good Christian life because they are focused on other things. The seed soon sprouted, but when the sun came up it burnt the young plants. They usually refer to eschatological events. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” ― Mark 4:30-32, English Standard Version He said therefore… To them, parables are aids to understanding truth, not hindrances. No, the parables present the claims of the present form of the kingdom in such a way that only those who trust Jesus will understand the new direction in the plan of God. I. The disciples were blessed above any others who had come before, both prophets and righteous men. But Jesus is indicating this will take more than ordinary listening to understand. The birds represent Satan. 5ff.). Not all the parables in the Bible work the same way. The crowds are “this generation” that Jesus has already denounced; here they are not given the secrets of the kingdom. 1. 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The situation is the question that the disciples ask, to which Jesus gives this full answer. There is one common view that has trouble with the idea that Jesus did something so that people could not understand the truth. But first, what exactly is a parable? In the days of Jesus this prophetic message of Isaiah found its fullest meaning. This ordered arrangement of Jesus’ answer emphasizes the judgment aspect of the parable at the center, but also the mercy aspect of the climax of the explanation with the disciples. This gives us a good idea of what the psalmists and prophets meant when they said to seek the Lord while He may be found. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. First, it does not do justice to what the text says, especially the citation from Isaiah; and second, if people failed to believe when Jesus said things plainly, it would be hard to see how they would suddenly understand when He spoke in parables. But because it was not received with genuine thoughtfulness and faith, under external pressures, it quickly fell away. In the earlier parable of the sower, Jesus had pointed out that the seed that seemingly grew quickly ended up not producing fruit (vv. The disciples noticed the changed and asked the reason. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, That psalm was written at the restoration of Israel from the captivity. The emphasis is not so much on the disciples’ ability to understand, which they have in part but not completely, but on the fact that revelation has been given to them. Some hear the truth, but like hardened paths they do not let it penetrate, and before long Satan takes the truth away. There is much more that can be said about the parable and about parables, but this will be enough for now. When Jesus told this parable, he felt the frustration of planting seeds (teaching and preaching) that would never produce grain – and he knew the disciples would later feel this same frustration. So how do we explain these things? We have heard the parable of the sower and the seed many times, if we have been a Catholic for very long. That judgment would take the form of judicial hardening--they would hear but not understand, the preaching would make their spirits dull. There is diversity in the parables, and so each one has to be studied as a literary unit in its context. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”. The Greek word literally means a throwing or placing things along side of each other, for the purpose of comparison. There were rocky places where the limestone bedrock was just beneath the topsoil, or where the rocks had worked through, and the seed could not take root because of the rocks. The main point of the passage is the meaning of this parable. There is a tendency to study these parables in order to find hidden meanings that have never been seen before. He had used some parables in His teaching so far, but now it becomes the supreme method used. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. This judgment may seem harsh, until one realizes that the nation of Israel in 700 B.C. In other words, it can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, everything in the story represents something else. It is the Word of God that will produce results. had had the sanctuary, the priesthood, the prophets, the scriptures for centuries. He is the author of Introducing Biblical Hebrew and Grammar, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposit... More, 4. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. Verse 53 of the chapter makes it clear that these seven parables were delivered on one and the same occasion by Jesus. In the concluding verse, we finally read that we do not need to fear that the kingdom of God will not succeed: “But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come” (v. 29). But the Spirit of God, using the Word of God, illumines their understanding daily. A good number of commentators will try to interpret this parable without reference to the next section, Jesus’ explanation as to why He used parables (largely because they think verses 18-23 are not authentic, that they were added later). The reference to the house connects the material to the event at the end of the chapter. 5 For this people’s heart has become dull, 7’ lest they should perceive with their eyes. Some seed fell among thorn bushes which grew up and choked the plants. 6. The parables challenge the hearers to respond with faith. And God will stop doing that if people persist in rebelling against Him. There are two lessons in one here: (1) the meaning and use of parables in general and God’s dealing with unbelievers, and (2) the meaning and application of the parable of the sower and the seed. Anyone who has visited the holy land can appreciate the rocky soil, the beaten paths, the thorn bushes—the fields are in this condition and the farmers must sow in spite of it. It was commonly known that God was going to bring in His glorious kingdom by supernatural manifestations and judgments. 4. After all, He came to reveal the truth. Even the soil that produces a small crop is “good.” It will take a good deal more of Jesus’ teaching, not to mention the resurrection and the giving of the Spirit, before they really understand the mysteries of the kingdom. They had rejected Him out of hand, and He tried to reach them a different way, through parables. and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 All of the parables deal with this present form of the kingdom, which Jesus explained to the disciples, but did not explain to the crowds expecting some dramatic deliverance. Some people are too concerned with what others think and they worry too much. This parable is found between two other seed parables. But the mystery of the kingdom is what no one was expecting, that the kingdom which is ultimately to come in great power has already begun to enter the world in advance in a hidden form to work secretly within people. And if we do that, we know that only some will receive it. That happened because of the good soil. II. The parable is about the ground more than the sower. It appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “ ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not … 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful, 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”. Jesus used this analogy in the Parable of the Sower. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The Parable of the Sower is a parable of Jesus found in Matthew 13:1–23, Mark 4:1–20, Luke 8:4–15 and the Gospel of Thomas, logion 9. In this parable the sower sows the seed. Finally, Jesus explained the meaning of the first of His parables, the sower and the seed (18-23). And a good bit of seed falls on good soil and eventually produces crops of various yields. It is presented without elaboration, a bare comparison that’s pregnant with possible meaning, and the interpretive task is left to the listener. They might intellectually hear the parable and make something of it — but it would not make sense to them because of their hardened unbelief, rejection of Jesus, and pre-conceived idea of what the kingdom should be. For those who are hardened like the rocky soil, the parable is a message of judgment; for those who are open to the words of Jesus, their “soil” will respond to the “seed” or message of the kingdom. The disciples had received Jesus as the Messiah, and because of their faith in Him as their King they were able to receive and understand the mysteries of the kingdom. But these were meant to illustrate truth, to reveal truth to the multitudes. The posture of Jesus sitting, first by the lake, and then in the boat because of the crowds, is one of a teacher. The Parable of the Sower concerns a sower who scatters seed, which falls on four different types of ground. Their ears are hard of hearing, Their hearts receive the message with faith, and the seed will take root. We like the Sower (Christ at first) have the responsibility to proclaim the message of the kingdom, the gospel, to the world. Eventually, stumbling disciples will become bold apostles. 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