Sunday 20 November: The Parable of the Sower Part 1

Seeds

Matthew 13v18-21 from The Open Bible

18. Therefore hear the parable of the sower.

19. The evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown from the heart of everyone who hears the teaching of the Kingdom and does not understand it. This is the seed that was sown along the path.

20. The seed sown on stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and immediately accepts it joyfully.

21. However he does not have roots in himself but is only temporary, so that whenever extreme difficulty or persecution arise because of the word he is immediately made to stumble.

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OK, let me first concede that I am doing things a little backwards, in that last week’s post was on verses in Matthew 13 that come after this parable of the sower!

This parable of the sower is probably one of the best known ones in the Christian Bible, that I’m sure many people might be familiar with from long ago days in Sunday School.

When we get to this verse 18, Jesus has already given the parable of the sower to the crowds of people. However, here He is not explaining it to the masses but only to His disciples.

v19: “The evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown from the heart of everyone who hears the teaching of the Kingdom and does not understand it. This is the seed that was sown along the path.”

This parable, like so many that Jesus gave, would have been something that Jesus’ hearers could instantly identify with, as it concerns normal agricultural life. Even today in our 21st century days of sophisticated agricultural technology, still thousands, if not millions of people around the world would still be able to identify with this simple idea, of going out to sow seed by hand.

Jesus has already explained when originally giving out the parable that some of the seed that the sower sowed was immediately eaten up by birds:

  1. And in his sowing some seed fell along the way, and the birds came and ate it up.

So when we are listening to the Word of God, we have to be careful to try to understand it, so that the devil would not come and snatch it away from our hearts. Perhaps a wise idea would be to pray to God for understanding of whatever we hear, so that we are not like the seed sown along the path.
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20. The seed sown on stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and immediately accepts it joyfully.

21. However he does not have roots in himself but is only temporary, so that whenever extreme difficulty or persecution arise because of the word he is immediately made to stumble.

This relates to verses 5-6 in the original parable account:

5. But some fell on the stony ground where it did not have much earth, and immediately it sprang up because it did not have deep soil.

6. But the sun rose up and scorched it and because it did not have roots it was withered away.

I think that this demonstrates something about the Gospels that it can be so easy to forget. That is, that the Gospel has lots within it that is immediately appealing to many people. The idea of having a relationship with God, and forgiveness from all our sins, and the hope of heaven, and joy and peace down here on earth – that appeals to many people. However, we have to make sure that we develop deep and strong roots in God and in His word, because the same God who loves us and has promised us a joyful eternity with Him has also promised us difficulties and burdens down here. If we do not take the time to develop roots, and what I call “Hold-on-ability”, we might find that our faith withers away at the slightest challenge. It’s interesting because the sun is obviously meant to make plants grow. And yet in this passage this is what actually causes the plants to wither. So, these challenges may actually exist in part to make us grow tall and strong as Christians. Yet they may be what cause our faith to get derailed, or “uprooted”…. 😉

Please tune back in next week for the Parable of the Sower, Part 2! 😉

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PHOTO CREDITS
Photo of seeds by Suraj on Pixabay
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