Question

How would you summarize the parable of the sower? 

Answer

We can find this parable in Matthew 13:1-23 and Luke 8:4-18. This may be the most important of all parables (stories of comparison where a spiritual lesson is compared to a physical event) because it provides us with (1) A basis for understanding all future parables (2) Reasons why people react the way they do, not only to parables but also to the Word of God in general. (3) Reason why Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables. We will take each of these in order.

First, we see, through this parable, that all parables are to be understood by way of comparison. That is, Jesus takes from events that are familiar to people and uses these things to illustrate spiritual truths. In this case, He took the familiar picture of the sower going forth throwing his seed over the ground. Depending on what type of ground it fell on, determined the type of results that would come forth. He mentions four types of ground, but only the good ground would bring forth the desired results. If there were less than desirable results, the problem rested in the ground, not in the seed.

As explained by Jesus, the seed represented the word of God and the types of ground or soil represented the types of hearts that react in certain way after hearing the word of God. Only those who have hones and good hearts will listen and obey the word and bring forth spiritual fruit in their lives. Luke 8:15. The others because falling to temptation and distraction will not allow the word to produce fruit in their lives. Whether immediately or after a little while, they will eventually reject the word from their hearts. Although the same word is given to all, the difference in how people react to it is determined by the condition of their hearts, minds.

Secondly, this parable not only tells how people would react to it, but also how they react to the word of God in general. If we are seeking after truth, humble and honest, we will obey what the word says. Acts 17:10-12. However, if we are caught up in sin, we will turn away from the word of God and not accept it or if we do, we will not be fruitful in it.

Finally, in how the people and the apostles reacted to this parable, it is revealed to us the reasons why Jesus spoke in this form to the people. Why did He not simply speak in plain language rather than creating these stories? The answer as found in Matt. 13:10-17 shows us that Isaiah had long before prophesied the spiritual condition of the people. They had become so dull of hearing, they would not hear Him even if He had spoken plainly to them. Jesus did not meet their expectations of the coming Messiah, a military leader who would rescue them from the cruel Roman Empire. Therefore, they were not looking for a humble servant who would be willing to die for them so they could be free from their true enemy, Satan and their sins.

Unlike the multitudes, the apostles were of a different heart. Although they did not understand the parable as it was initially revealed, they did have enough interest in seek the truth to ask Him the meaning of it. There was the difference between the, they were humble and honest and desired to know the truth of the coming Kingdom.

By Gary Hunt

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