Summary: Jesus is talking to people who think they're saved but aren't.
Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter.”
This is a true story: An 80-year-old lady called the police on her cell phone and said, "Help me please. I’m in the parking lot at the mall and someone broke into my car. They stole the CD player, the steering wheel, the gearshift lever and the pedals. I don’t know what I’m going to do?" The dispatcher said, "Stay calm, ma’am, and I’ll ask the police officer to get to there as quickly as possible." Ten minutes later, the police station got a message from the investigating officer, he said, "Please disregard the distress call. The lady got in the back-seat car by mistake." Hey, we all make mistakes.
I think this is probably one of the more difficult parables to study because of the structure; and if you look at this parable as a whole you’ll notice that Jesus is interrupted half way through telling it by a question that has very little to do with the parable; their question actually has something to do with parables in general.
So, basically, Jesus disciples were missing the point of what He was trying to say. It’s as though you were telling someone that a man with a black hat is going to steal your car and they answered by saying, ‘Where do you think they bought that hat?’
So, what happens here; is that Jesus answers their question but then goes back and explains the parable. And when you see what happens here; you get the impression that His disciples often miss the point of why He came, what He was trying to do, what He did do and what they were supposed about what He did.
And yet, Jesus ever so patiently explains spiritual truth like He’s talking to little children and in effect He was because His disciples never really knew what was going on until after He died, returned and the Holy Spirit breathed on them all.
So, let’s read this passage with the understanding there is a break in the middle and I’ll see if we have time to deal with both.
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
(Now, notice before we go on that the disciples are not asking anything about what He just said; they don’t care who the sower is, what the seed is, what happens to the various seeds or even what it was they were told to hear. They completely changed the subject and asked Him why He was speaking in parables? In other words, they didn’t get it and rather than ask Him to explain it, they just changed the subject. It’s hard to tell if they just didn’t understand or didn’t care but they tried to change the subject by asking a question which Jesus answered and then He went back and interprets the parable. OK, now, pick it up again in verse 10.)
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.