Summary: We are spiritual sowers by our witness for Jesus.
Text: Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to sow” (Matthew 13:3).
Why would Jesus use the words “sow and sower”?
What does it mean to “sow”?
What is a “sower”?
What is a parable?
Why did Jesus teach in parables?
Jesus used the words “sow and sower” as teaching tools. After God went through the creation process, He placed man in the beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden.
After God created Adam and Eve, He said to them, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Genesis 1:29).
At this point, man had it made. God had provided everything necessary for his survival. After the sin of disobedience entered the world, God said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field” (Genesis 3:17-18).
Man was driven from the Garden and required to work to survive. He could become a nomad and move from place to place with his herd of animals or he could become a farmer and work the soil planting crops. The first children of Adam and Eve each chose one of these means of living. Able was a herdsman and Cain was a farmer.
After the flood waters had receded and Noah and his family came out of the Ark, Scripture tells us: “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard” (Genesis 9:20). Noah was a tiller of the soil.
I am trying to get you to see that farming or tilling the soil has been around for a long time. People knew what it was to work the soil just as they knew what it was like to tend to herds of animals.
God gave man seed for all the vegetation he created so that man could continue to plant or sow the seeds and in this way plant life would survive. As we all know, there are good seeds and there are bad seeds.
In other words, there are plants of value and then there are weeds and thorns or thistles. Because of this there is competition for the nutrients in the soil.
If the weeds and thorns are not kept under control they will take all the nutrients from the soil and the good plants will not survive. A farmer will plant or “sow” good seed in hopes of gaining good fruits. When he “sows”, he scatters the seed upon the soil and anticipates that the seed will find moisture and nutrients in the soil, sprout, and produce fruit that can be harvested.
The term “sower” refers to the farmer who is scattering the seed upon the ground. People understood what it meant to “sow” seed and they understood that the “sower” was the one scattering the seed. There is no hidden meaning in the words “sow and sower”. Jesus tied a spiritual message to these everyday words.
The Scripture reading for this morning is entitled, “The Parable of the Sower”. Parables are short stories involving common objects and are used for the purpose of teaching spiritual truths. The word “parable” is found 46 times in the New Testament. Jesus was the only person in the New Testament that taught in parables.
Jesus did not begin His ministry teaching through the use of parables. Jesus’ ministry begins after He has been tempted by the devil and ministered to by the angels. Matthew records the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in chapter 4 and verse 12. From that point through chapter 12, we do not find Jesus using parables. He speaks straight and to the point. There is no excuse for misunderstanding.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples why he spoke in parables, His response was: “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:11).
If something is a “mystery” it is something that has not yet been revealed. When Jesus speaks of the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”, He is speaking of something that has now been revealed. Some people did not believe Jesus for who he was, but on the other hand some did.
The “mystery of the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God” was revealed to those who believed in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They took to heart the words of Jesus as well as the works that he did in their presence.
The kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God is revealed to each one of us when we repent of our sins, trust God the Father and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Lord and Savior. This can only be done though our faith and trust in Jesus.