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Summary: The parable of the sower shows us how we are to receive the good news of Jesus Christ

A Kingdom of the Receptive

Matthew 13.1-17

September 14, 1997

Morning Service


I. Ben Franklin’s Field of Plaster: Ben Franklin was known for his outrageous experiments, one such experiment revealed that plaster could be sown with crops to help them grow, when he shared his discovery people thought he was crazy, no one would listen, the following spring he went to the field and sowed his crops, near a path, where the field was least productive, he traced letters in the ground “this has been plastered”, he planted wheat with plaster in the etching and when the crop grew well, he had a living example of his claim, Franklin made the ground receptive

II. The Receptive Heart: Jesus used a similar plastering of messages to the people, he spoke with parables, He reinforced the message that he had with examples from daily life, etching the gospel in living patterns and models,


I. The Place

A. Jesus goes out: Mary and the brothers try to persuade Jesus to stop teaching, Jesus goes out to the people, He stopped teaching indoors and in synagogues because He was being rejected so much, He allowed the people to come to Him,

B. The people come: Great crowds came to hear Jesus teach, He had begun at the shore of the sea and was forced to enter a boat because of the pushing of the crowds, Jesus puts some distance between Himself and the crowds,

II. The Plan

A. The method of teaching: Jesus shared His message in parables, common form of Jewish teaching, Parable - ballo: to throw or to lay in place, para: alongside of, a parable is a method of teaching that parallels the subject matter with common occurrences,

B. Jesus effective teaching pattern: The parables that Jesus teaches are not easy to grasp, He does not share the meaning with the crowds, He gives strong but complex analogies to communicate truth, the applies the abstract truth of God to concrete patterns of thought,

III. The Parable

A. The sower: A very familiar seen, the sowing of seed was normal event, walking the furrows and casting seed, this was the fastest and best way for a person to cover a large area,

B. The soils: In every field there were different types of soil and different areas where the seed could fall, this too was common knowledge, seed goes everywhere with this method of planting,

1. By the road: In every area of Israel the fields are separated by narrow paths for people to walk on, these paths were untilled and packed down, this prevented the seeds from taking root, birds ate this seed because it was easy to access, this seed is easily destroyed either by birds or by people walking on them,

2. Rocky soil: This type of soil was not filled with large rocks, shallow level of dirt over large deposits of limestone, these seeds fall where there is not much soil and little root support, these seeds sprouted fast because the majority of the plant was exposed to the earth, they look very good and extremely promising, the sun comes up and scorches them, without good roots to give moisture and nourishment they quickly die off, looks can be deceiving,

3. Ground with thorns: This soil was infested with thorny plants, common in most of the areas of Israel - especially Judea, large bushes of thorns that had to be cut down, Romans made a crown of thorns for Jesus out of them, these thorns would grow up and totally overtake the good plants and kill them by a lack of nutrients and sunlight

4. Good soil: This is the soil that is productive and alive, sufficient support for the seeds to root and grow, totally favorable conditions for fruitfulness, the ground was receptive for the seed,

IV. The Purpose

A. Jesus speaks with the disciples: after the crowds had left, the disciples asked about the parable, normal format was to explain these teaching to everyone, Jesus held the mysteries of heaven, divine Truth not revealed to the saints of the OT, Jesus has come to find the faithful and build the Kingdom, He both reveals the Truth and conceals it at the same time, those who will understand will gain a great and ever increasing reward, those who do not understand will lose even what they understand and will be lost

B. To conceal: Jesus conceals new Truth about the Kingdom, people who keep hearing but do not understand - they will lose the whole truth, people who keep on seeing but never perceive - they will lose the whole truth, they have closed their hearts to the message of God, they will lose the whole truth, this is a judgment on those who will not believe,

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