3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Exegesis of the Parable of the Sower. How does one aquire "good soil"?

Sermon: Parable of the Sower

Text: Luke 8:4-15, II Cor 11:19-31

Occasion: Sexagesima

Who: Mark Woolsey

When: Sunday, Jan 27, 2007

Where: Providence Reformed Episcopal Church

Luke 8:4-15, NKJV: "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold". When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Then His disciples asked Him, saying, "What does this parable mean?" And He said, "To you has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that

’Seeing they may not see,

And hearing they may not understand.’

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."

II Cor 11:19-31: For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if ones takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold - I speak foolishly - I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? - I speak as a fool - I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths, often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness - besides the other things, what comes upon me daily; my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, amd I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in things which concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I. Intro

Today I would like to preach to you a useless sermon. Your first response is, I suppose, "At least he’s being honest this time". And I probably am, because this sermon is about dirt. Common, everyday dirt. The stuff we work so diligently to keep out of our house, our car, and our clothes. It’s so undesirable to our everyday lives that we pay to get rid of it, not to get it. Of course, indirectly it’s crucial to our lives since most of us like to eat, and we couldn’t do that without dirt and the farmers who work the fields. But who among us is a farmer? Who knows his trade, his life? And yet, by the end of this sermon, I hope to convince you that this irritating invader to our everyday lives is a life or death matter. This common commodity is central to today’s Gospel text. As we progress thru the text I would like for you to consider these questions:

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