Parable of the Sower: If you are new to this series, we are analyzing 39 parables from the teachings of Jesus. Through this series, we will take each one and break it down to make it easier to understand its meaning. Just a note, Jesus was divine and had infinite knowledge. We do not presume that this is the only interpretation of this parable, but it is ours, and we hope it helps.
Parable of the Sower –
Matthew 13: 3-9 NIV
The parable of the Sower gives us great detail on how the Word of God is taken into our lives. It is used to shape and guide us through our daily quest to understand how to interact with Him better. This is one of the few parables that Jesus Himself explains to His disciples in detail. While all of the parables carry strong guidance and deep messages, this is one that resonates because it has a direct message on how important it is to truly understand the Word of God. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we are going through these parables. To help put some additional light on them for some that might be struggling.
Let’s go into more detail about the response from Jesus when He begins to teach the meaning to His disciples.
Here is the teaching from Jesus about where the seed is thrown on the path. This is from Matthew 13:19.
Seed thrown on the path – Matthew 13:19
To understand God’s message, we must do more than just hear it. As Jesus told us, we must work hard to understand what we hear. Understanding does not always come easy but in every case, it is possible. Sometimes to understand, you just need to hear what you are trying to learn, explained in another way. Even as a story or a parable. But if you hear but do not try to understand, this is a missed opportunity for this learning to be taken from you before you have a chance to understand it.
There are many different ways to deep dive into what you are hearing. One of the best ways is to start journaling. As you read parts of the Scripture, write down (journal) what it means to you in your own words. This allows you to better understand what you are reading.
Now let’s listen to what Jesus explains is the meaning of the seed falling on rocky ground in Matthew 13:20-21
Seed falling on rocky ground – Matthew 13:20-21
Believing in something is a good thing and the first step to understanding God’s word. However, the second step is to learn about why you believe it. That results in believing with conviction. Belief that God is good is one thing but to be absolutely convinced that God is good is a conviction that no one can take away. Be joyful that God is good but believe it in your soul. That deep believe will allow you to weather the storm and persecution because of your beliefs when it comes, by holding on to your faith and trust that the good Lord will be with you through it all.
Next Jesus explains the seed falling among the thorns in Matthew 13:22.
Seed falling among the thorns – Matthew 13:22
The thorns in this part of the parable are the worldly things that are around you that distract you from what you know to be right. You have learned and you understand the direction that God has placed in front of you and you are wanting to abide by God’s Word, but you are being pulled the wrong direction, away from God and His purpose for you. You must put God first in your life and focus on God before the worldly things. Only then will you to grow in your faith.
Now Jesus tells us about how things will be when the seed falls on good soil in Matthew 13:23.
Seed falling on good soil – Matthew 13:23
When the message reaches ears that are willing to hear, and the receiver understands the message, that person will know God’s purpose and will be anxious to go and fulfil it. Hearing from God can sometimes feel impossible. Often times that’s because we already have in our minds what God should say to us. Our worst enemy in understanding God is our own understanding. Open your mind and heart and truly listen to what God has to say and you will be fruitful in life.
We have talked a lot about the seed in the parable of the Sower being the word of God and how it will be received. However, as we have also discussed in this series, many of the parables from Jesus have many meanings. I think it is important that we at least acknowledge the fact that there is also the Sower in this message. The Sower is the one that is throwing the seed or providing the message.
To just provide the message and not put the correct structure around it can limit the one that hears it. To say that God is good, is one thing, but to explain why God is good is another. Both of those responsibilities rest directly on the one giving the message or in our case the Sower.
If you find yourself in the position of the Sower, take the extra time to explain your message to those that are listening just as Jesus did for the disciples. To have a firm understanding of the message is what provides the greatest results and will be fruitful.