Matthew 13: 3 – 9, Luke 8: 5 – 9
Explanation of the Parable of The Sower and the Seed
Matthew 13: 18 – 23, Luke 8: 11 – 15
This month’s lesson is a parable of Jesus Christ, The Sower and the Seed found at Matthew 13 and Luke 8. It is my desire to use this lesson to prompt you to ask the question, "Which seed is the source of my relationship with Jesus?" A parable of is a story which explains a principle by using a life example to demonstrate the principle in action. Jesus explains His use of parable at Matthew 13: 10 – 17, and Luke 8: 9 -10 – the explanation I use here, "(9) what does the parable mean?" (10) And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables that,
‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ (Isaiah 6:9, NKJV).
What is Jesus saying? Jesus is telling us that we must come to relationship with Jesus before the secrets of the kingdom of God will be revealed to us. We must believe in His name. Prior to a relationship with Jesus our interest is self interest. This parable speaks to the life snares which keep us from coming to relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I will use the parable as given by Christ in the Book of Luke 8: 5 – 8, "(5) "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. (6) Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered way because it lacked moisture. (7) And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. (8) But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
How does Jesus explain this parable? What is the seed? Jesus explains at Luke 11:11 that the seed represents the word of God. Jesus is talking about the Bible. The importance of God’s word spoken to Adam and Eve, shared through prophets in the Old Testament by oral and written tradition through the giving of the New Testament to the apostles by the Holy Spirit. The care of the seed, God’s word is quite important to develop our understanding of the Kingdom of God. How do you care for God’s word?
What does the soil represent? The soil is the heart of every person who has ever been born. It is you, me, Adam and Eve, King David, King Solomon, Moses, and it is Judas Iscariot. The soil represents every heart that ever was, is, and is to be. "The success of the seeding is very much according to the nature and temper of the soil, and as that is, or is not, disposed to receive the seed."(Matthew Henry)
At Luke 8: 5(b) Jesus states, "And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it." Jesus explains Luke 8:5(b) at Luke 11: 12,"Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, least they should be believe and be saved." The devil is responsible! Wow. The word teaches us that at our entire life is surrounded by spiritual warfare beginning in heaven when the angel Lucifer attempted to overthrow God which resulted in his removal from heaven; his deception of Eve which resulted in sin coming into the world, ushering the battle mankind engages with sin.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness and powers of heavenly places." As Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are in constant spiritual warfare. Satan does not want us to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He does not want us to have the free gift of salvation which Christ provided through His cleansing blood and resurrection at Calvary.
Luke 8:6, "Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacks moisture, "speaks of neglecting the word of God. Luke 8:13 explains verse 6, "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away." How many people hear the word of God and are excited about a relationship they do not work to develop? Once you hear the word of God it is critical to study it and seek God’s direction in understanding His word. You need to study the word so you can learn how to relate to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You need to practice the word in every aspect of your life. At Matthew 6:33 Jesus teaches, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be granted to you."
The seed begins to germinate because the word is being considered initially by the hearer. The knowledge of the kingdom of God is not important to this particular hearer and he sets it aside for another time which may never come. The seed needs nourishment which is studying the word, hearing the word of God – making it the most important part of the hearer’s life. Simplistic as it may be I think of a fruit tree when I think of this verse. The farmer needs to water the tree, to nourish it. He needs to trim dead branches from the tree and needs to use insecticides on the tree to kill harmful attacks from insects and disease. If the farmer cares for the fruit tree, the tree will produce good fruit. Do you give as much attention to the word as you do the fruit trees in your life?
Luke 8:7, "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it," speaks of people overwhelmed by the matters of cares of this world. Luke 8:14, "Now the ones that fell among the thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity," is Christ’s explanation of Luke 8:7. This verse speaks to trust and idols. Do you believe that God’s promises are true? He promises to take care of you and to meet your needs. Do you believe Him? Do you believe Him? Are you seriously surrendering all your cares to Him? Are you? This is what God expects of you. See Matthew 6:19 – 21 and 25 -34. Don’t let your cares (worries separate you from your relationship with God)!
Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon," speaks to the b part of verse 7. The trap which pursuing wealth lays for us is that of believing that we are self sufficient and that we no longer need God to provide for our needs. Nothing is further from the truth. Is this a problem in your life? Are you self sufficient or are you God dependant?
Do the pleasures of this life interfere with your relationship in developing a nurturing the seed in your heart? What are the pleasures of your life? Unfortunately sin is often equated with bad behavior, the fact is God views sin as anything that strains our relationship with him. What is more important in your life than God? I think pleasure as used in this verse means anything that a person enjoys doing that separates him from maturing His relationship with God. It could be something as innocent as a Sunday morning round of golf. If the pleasure mentioned in Luke 8:7 exists in your life, I strongly suspect that you will know what it is. All relationships require time together to grow and mature, our relationship with God is no different. It seems to me the question we all need ask about pleasure interfering with our relationship with our relationship with God is a simple one, has God become an inconvenience in our schedule of events.
Luke 8:8, "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold," When He said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" At Luke 8:15, "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. " What is the good ground? The good ground is those who hear the word and surrender all of themselves to God. Good ground is those who cannot learn enough about God through His word. Good ground is trusting God’s direction in all things. Good ground is a crop, the crop is you, that is God’s interest not self interest, it is loving God so much that the hearers life is consumed with the overflowing love of Jesus Christ sharing it in whatever situation the hearer is found and wherever the hearer may be. Good ground is a life that is all about the love of Jesus Christ.