The Parable of the Sower is recounted in all three synoptic gospels. We commented on Matthew 13’s account in this previous post. The other one is contained in Mark 4:1-20. A full reading of all three accounts gives us the best understanding. As is always the case with God’s word, anytime something is repeated, it is a sure sign of its great importance. Three detailed accounts of this parable underscores that point with resounding clarity.
But why is the parable of the sower so important? There are several reasons, and each reading seems to help understand more of them. This parable, as explained by Jesus in verses 9-15, explains “the why” of all of Jesus’ parables, along with Isaiah 6:9-10 (“seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand”). This prophetic passage spoke of those who would be eyewitnesses to Jesus, His miracles, and the truth about who He was – yet those who did not want the truth would not receive it.
But it is much more than that. The Parable of the Sower is the key to understanding much about all sorts of people, from total non-believers to dedicated Christians, and several levels in between. And it serves as a warning for us to not allow the pleasures of the world to consume us. It points to the very real possibility that we can encounter trials in this life that will test our faith, and not one of us is immune to falling away under such circumstances.
So how do we become the “good soil?” We do that in the same way that we cultivate a luxurious garden by preparing the soil. We must work the ground, constantly removing every rock that we can – and we do that one at a time, by leaning on the Lord and prayerfully asking for His help in doing so. “Pray without ceasing” is one of the secrets to becoming “good soil.” Another comes by feeding “the soil” the nutrients that are so vital to growth – and doing so regularly. And that comes through a steady diet of God’s word.
Verses 16-18 may seem somewhat difficult to understand, but it helps to read also Mark 4:21-25 and Matthew 10:26-27. Disciples of Jesus are not to hear and learn the truth and just go about their business as if that were enough. What we hear, we are to proclaim on the housetops, and we are to never stop learning and sharing the knowledge that we gain. Doing so, that knowledge will will increase in proportion to our efforts. But without those efforts, we will “lose” what we have gained.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.