Summary: The parable of the Seed and the Sower is full of spiritual insight for us as we see the world as a place where the Lord wishes to plant seeds and to harvest souls. In this first part we look mostly at the Scripture between the parable and the explanation
Matthew 13:1-23 NIV
Parable - “A short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.”
What might be an example of a simple, non-Biblical story that could be considered a parable?
The Tortoise and the Hare (briefly describe)
The Scorpion and the Frog (or Fox) from Aesop’s Fables (briefly describe)
These are stories with a point.
Some unbelieving, modern theologians think that the entire Bible is a series of fictitious fables.
Here Jesus plainly identifies that He is speaking in a parable -
Matthew 13:3a, 10b NIV
“Then He told them many things in parables …”
“Why do You speak to the people in parables?”
Look again at verses 11-15
Matthew 13:11 NIV
“[Jesus] replied, ‘Because the knowledge of the secrets (mysteries) of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.’”
Secrets/Mysteries - Doctrines and principles not previously revealed.
Why has it not been granted? Jesus will go on to explain why but His next statement in verse 12 seems rather puzzling to us.
Matthew 13:12 NIV
“Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.’”
What??? What is the natural reaction to this statement? “THAT’S NOT FAIR!”
We see this same situation in both of the parables Jesus tells about entrusting His servants with money; these stories are usually called the parables of the talents or minas which were amounts of money at that time.
This is the way the kingdom of God works: God is faithful to the faithful.
God enables us by His Holy Spirit to be faithful but He also allows us to reject Him if we wander away into sin.
God is always faithful to Himself:
2 Timothy 2:13a NIV
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful.”
Now, that is a verse I hear a lot on the radio. Is it a trustworthy saying? It's not even a full sentence in the Scriptures. It has been completely plucked out of its context and made to say something completely opposite of what the Bible is actually saying!
Here is the trustworthy saying!
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”
Wow! This is something we talk about over and over and over here! Context is everything! God is faithful to the faithful, to those who lay down their lives for Him, for those who endure to the end!
This is something we see over and over and over in the Bible as we pursue the Lord we become more like Him. Could there ever be a greater reward? And, as a consequence He invests more in us.
On the other hand as our hearts turn toward idols and away from the Lord we become more calloused; blind, hard of hearing and hard hearted toward Him.
So, let’s look at our Bibles and read again from
Matthew 13:13-17 NIV
Verse 14: “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah”
- This is a condition which Isaiah was seeing in the people of Israel in his time and Jesus was seeing in the people of Israel when He was on earth. As they rejected the Lord and embraced idols their ears became dull and their hearts became hard. Even though they watched the Lord raising up strong nations around them their eyes could not foresee the destruction headed their way. And even as they heard the warnings of the prophets their ears became dull and their hearts heart. The evidence was there but they could not see or hear it because they had hardened their hearts with idols or pride.
- In this case this was not a prophecy of what the Lord would bring about but of what the Lord knew would happen in the future. The Lord was not blinding their eyes or giving them deafness of hearing or confusing their hearts. They were doing that themselves.
Verse 15: “This peoples hearts have become calloused, they hardly hear with their ears, THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES.”
- And, here’s the pivotal word “Otherwise!” If their hearts were soft, if they listened intently with their ears, if they opened their eyes this would enable them to understand with their hearts and they would turn to God and what would He do???? “I WOULD HEAL THEM!”
- God is faithful!!!!!
- Do you want a life, I mean a REAL LIFE??? Choose God! Amen?
So, before we look at the parable itself there are a couple of things we need to recognize.