Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; Sower, Seed, and Soil

This parable is about the types of soil receiving (or not) the seed of the gospel. However, Jesus calls it the parable of the sower. In the end, the quality of the seed turns out to be important. Thus, my title for these sections refers to the three components.

Since we are privileged to have Jesus’ own interpretation of his story, there is no need for me to try to improve on it. I’ll just make a few comments.

  • Sowing widely is important. We cannot tell what kind of soil we are sowing in until we see the results. So. Keep throwing it out there.
  • As discouraging as it is, not all ground will yield well. It’s heartbreaking when we put effort into a person and then watch as the cares of the world choke their faith, or watch them wither for lack of root depth. But we keep throwing it out there.
  • The good soil makes up for the bad soil. This is why we sow widely. When it takes, the harvest is really good. So we keep throwing it out there.
  • In a way, the hard soil of the path is easier to deal with. The gospel of the kingdom goes in one ear an out the other. But the rocky soil and the thorny soil will break your heart over and over again. Think back through your life and you will remember countless examples of these types of soil. But we keep throwing it out there.
  • The seed is the gospel. The kingdom is the harvest. There is no better seed to sow. So we keep throwing it out there.

This parable could lead to discouragement if we focus on the three failure modes. But I think Jesus wants us to focus on the harvest. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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