God’s Word Goes Forth: Grow in God’s Wisdom
Matthew 13:1-23: Today we begin reading the first part of chapter 13 which introduces a collection of Jesus’ teachings known as parables. The word parable comes from a Greek term that literally means “to throw alongside.” Jesus often taught by means of parables, using images from everyday life “alongside” the lesson as a way of illustrating or clarifying his message. Today’s reading is the parable of the sower, also known as the parable of the seeds or parable of four kinds of soil. Jesus explains the meaning of the parable and why he uses this literary device.
Today's Scripture: Matthew 13:23
“And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.”
1 That same day Jesus left the house and went to the lakeside, where he sat down to teach. 2 The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the crowd stood on the shore. 3 He used parables to tell them many things. “Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. 4 As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn't deep. 6 But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. 7 Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty. ” 9 And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!” 10 Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11 Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has. 13 The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. 14 So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them: ‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand; they will look and look, but not see, 15 because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’ 16 As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. 17 I assure you that many prophets and many of God's people wanted very much to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not. 18 Listen, then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. 19 Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them. 20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 21 But it does not sink deep into them, and they don't last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 22 The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don't bear fruit. 23 And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty. ”
What is your understanding of the parable of the sower? Who is the sower? Who are the seeds? How can you be like seed “sown in the good soil” and what would you need to do to keep your seed nourished? How is being like seed “sown in the good soil” related to living a life of faith?
Lord Jesus, give me ears to listen to you. I confess that sometimes I may be like seed that is sown in an exposed path or rocky ground or a thorn bush. But I want to be like seed that is sown in good soil. Plant the seed of your word in my heart. Teach me to nourish this seed through daily prayer and by studying the Holy Scriptures so that I grow in faith and bear fruit for your Kingdom. Amen.
Migrant farm workers