Video: The Parable of the Sower – the mystery of faith

Introduction to the video:

This presentation focuses on the Parable of the Sower, Mt 13:1-23.  Reference is made to the following passages of Scripture:

  • Eph 2:8,9 – Salvation is by grace through faith.
  • Rom 10:17 – Faith is through hearing the Word of God.
  • Mt 13:1-23 – The Parable of the Sower is actually a parable about hearing the Word.
  • Jn 15:1- 8 – The Vine and the Branches.

(Mt 13:1-9) Part I, the parable itself, heard by two groups: His disciples, and the crowd.

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.  And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:

 “A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.  Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.  But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.  Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

(Mt 13:10-17) Part II – After hearing God’s word, there are still two groups: the remaining crowd, and (the original, and now perhaps some new) disciples.

The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”  He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.  To anyone who has, more will be given, and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’   Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

‘You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart and be converted,
and I heal them.’

 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

(Mt 13:18 – 23) Part III – the explanation given by Jesus:

“Hear then the parable of the sower.  The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.  The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.  But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.  The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.  But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

******************************

Jesus teaches the parable of the sower to a mixed crowd.  The parable, once preached and heard, divides that crowd into two main groups:

  • Two groups –
    • Those in the crowd who remained “of the crowd”: “lest they should perceive …, and hear …, and understand …, and turn for me to heal them.”
    • Those in the crowd who heard the word and became disciples: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”

Listen then to this parable as a parable of heading the word, with four possible results:

  1. No result – no difference.
  2. Become a disciple of Jesus, yet with no real difference in life because of hardness of heart.
  3. Become a disciple of Jesus, yet with no real difference in life because of entanglements of heart.
  4. Become a disciple of Jesus, and perhaps after struggles with a carnal heart, after continuing to listen and to learn and seeking to remain with Jesus, in time there comes real and radical change of heart, and real discipleship, and holy fruit!

parablesowerdiagram

 

Meditations:

  1. What is “rocky ground” in the heart and soul of a person?
    rocks => shallow soil, shallow ground, lack of solid rootedness.  => Shallow hearing.
  1. What are “thorns” in the heart and soul of a person?
    mixed, entangled loves => entangled hearing.
  1. What is “good ground” in the heart and soul of a person?
    patient, faithful, open, humble,… => fruitful hearing, maturing faith,…

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