"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Matthew 13:1-23 -- The Parable of the Sower

As I mentioned the other day Matthew 13 is filled with parables.  We already discussed "why parables?" so now I want to share the first one along with the explanation Jesus gave his disciples.  


Parable

3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear."

Explanation


18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.


20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.


22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.


23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
 


Comments/Questions

1.  What is "the message about the kingdom" that people are hearing and some are failing to understand? (vs.19)

2.  What is the crop produced thirty, sixty or a hundred fold?  What constitutes fruitfulness? What is the fruit? (vs. 23)

3.  Can we prepare the soil so it will be good and, therefore, able to "understand" the seed?  (vs. 23)

4.  Notice the power of the evil one in snatching away the seed (vs. 19). This reminded me of Jesus' words in John 10 where he talks about the thief.

10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

5.  Verse 22 talks about the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choking the seed, resulting in an unfruitful life.  In what ways do riches and the worries of life keep us from being fruitful? 

6.  Jesus mentioned 4 types of soil and their explanations.  Which soil do you consider yourself?  If you were the teacher giving this story to your class of students or your own children would you add any other types of soil? What would you add and what would be your explanation?

7.  Referring to verse 9, what do you 'hear' when you read this parable?  What lesson does it have for you?  Is it the same lesson Jesus meant to convey to those who heard him that day?

7 comments:

Lat said...

What an excellent parable! As I'm not familiar with this,I'll just have to wait and see the comments for answers :)

Amber said...

1. What is "the message about the kingdom" that people are hearing and some are failing to understand? (vs.19)

I almost want to say that it depends on the person hearing the message. For some, they might not understand that they need God at all. Or that there is only one God. Or that Christ is God in the flesh. Or that He is the only way. Or that we are saved by Grace, and not the Law. Take you pick.

2. What is the crop produced thirty, sixty or a hundred fold? What constitutes fruitfulness? What is the fruit? (vs. 23)

I think the 'crop' is believers. True believers, who you also know by their fruits, which would be the way that they act. Their actual showing of Christ within them. So I guess the 'crop' metaphor could be extended to include the love and charity and faithfulness that the believers show others...

3. Can we prepare the soil so it will be good and, therefore, able to "understand" the seed? (vs. 23)

Hmmm...I would say yes, but this might get into the question of predestination. After all, if you *can't* prepare the soil, then it's already divinely chosen who will be good soil, who will be rocky, etc. But I say yes, which is a part of the reason why children should be brought up in the fullness of the church since birth.

5. Verse 22 talks about the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choking the seed, resulting in an unfruitful life. In what ways do riches and the worries of life keep us from being fruitful?

Because we're so focused on having this, or having that, or this that or the other concern, that we're wrapped up in ourselves, that we forget that it's not all about us and this world, and who has the most toys, but helping others, and encouraging our own better impulses in order to keep ourselves within God's Grace and plan.

6. Jesus mentioned 4 types of soil and their explanations. Which soil do you consider yourself? If you were the teacher giving this story to your class of students or your own children would you add any other types of soil? What would you add and what would be your explanation?

Wouldn't any believer have to answer that they are the 'good soil'? Or at least we pray that we are...

7. Referring to verse 9, what do you 'hear' when you read this parable? What lesson does it have for you? Is it the same lesson Jesus meant to convey to those who heard him that day?

*I* think that what I get is that God spreads His word everywhere, through Christ, through missionaries and disciples and preachers and priests and nuns and the laity, everyone who is a Christian spreads the word. But there's not way for us, as humans, to ensure that the 'seed' takes. We spread it, but it is up to the 'soil' (the heart of the person listening) and the Holy Spirit to see that it grows.

Susanne said...

Lat, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thankfully Amber provided us with some answers. :)

Susanne said...

Amber, so you think the message about the kingdom can be one of many things? Interesting thought! So you believe it's a "universalistic" message -- take whatever you want from it? I'll have to ponder what you said. Oh, I think you are explaining what they don't understand...scratch that. I see how my question was misleading. I think your answer showed what the message was by sharing what various ones might not understand. Great answer! :)

" But I say yes, which is a part of the reason why children should be brought up in the fullness of the church since birth."

But what about people say in a refugee camp in Rwanda who don't have parents to bring them up this way? Are they out of luck as far as getting "prepared soil" or no? I like hearing your reasoning of such things. :)

" But there's not way for us, as humans, to ensure that the 'seed' takes. We spread it, but it is up to the 'soil' (the heart of the person listening) and the Holy Spirit to see that it grows. "

Loved this! It reminds me of the verse about some planting, others watering, but it is GOD who gives the increase. We should not be weary when we don't see people changing due to our efforts because we are only planters and waterers. It is up to God to make the seed take and the person to grow spiritually.

Thanks much for your wonderful answers. I thoroughly enjoyed them!

Amber said...

'Oh, I think you are explaining what they don't understand...scratch that. I see how my question was misleading. I think your answer showed what the message was by sharing what various ones might not understand. Great answer! :)'

Right, that's what I meant. That those are different aspects of the message that they might not be getting. Without concrete information, it's hard to say which part they didn't understand. And, really, what they didn't understand might have been different from hearer to hearer.

'But what about people say in a refugee camp in Rwanda who don't have parents to bring them up this way? Are they out of luck as far as getting "prepared soil" or no? I like hearing your reasoning of such things. :)'

No, I don't think that they're out of luck, because really, at the most true and basic level, it'd be the Holy Spirit that does the preparing, right? Raising children in the faith encourages that, and helps, as much as any human agent can, but it really is a work of the Spirit.

Susanne said...

Oh,I loved what you said. So true!

Rocket Man said...

Matthew 17
[15] Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
[16] And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
[17] Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
[18] And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Revelation 17
[15] And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
[16] And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.


DON'T CLICK HERE !

CLICK HERE !
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STUDY
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Billionaires are BRILLIANT !

scratchwiththechickens@gmail.com
seeking benefactor

!