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Commentary » Matthew 13:1-Matthew 13:9 » Family-Times.net
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Teaching in Parables

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I know a young fellow in Oklahoma who was intent on going to college, but his folk did not have the money, and he had to work. Finally he got a job in a restaurant for the summer, which promised sufficient earnings to enable him to enter college the next fall. On receiving his fi … More

Parable Teaching

In this chapter Jesus began to do something He had not done before. He began to teach in parables which was to make a comparison between a known truth and an unknown truth. Some define it as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. He did not do this to confuse or condemn the people but rather to arouse their curiosity and gain their attention. Did you ever hear someone say “Let me plant this thought in your mind"? This expresses the idea of a parable. In this passage Jesus uses such familiar figures as soil, seed, birds, thorns, rocks, sun, and fruit. The seed is God’s Word; the various soils represent different kinds of hearts; and varied results show the different responses to the Word.

It is said that in Palestine during New Testament times, the average ratio of harvested grain seeds to those that were planted was less than eight to one. The truth of God’s Word must take root in the heart, be cultivated, and permitted to bear fruit. Actually it is shocking to realize that three-fourths of the seed did not bear fruit. Jesus did not describe an age of great harvest but one in which the Word would be rejected. The sun in this parable represents persecution and this helps believers grow. However sunshine will kill a plant with no roots. It is possible to  believe and yet not be saved (John 2:23-25). Their faith was weak, their understanding limited and their decision was not sincere.

Application

What kind of soil best characterizes me? Am I a child, a teenager or a young adult? How has my soil changed over the years?

Matthew 13:1-9 (English Standard Version)

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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