The Story Explained
22 March 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 13:18-23 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13:18–23 NLT)
I’ve heard a lot of sermons about Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower.” This parable is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. During the three and a half-years of Jesus’ teaching and ministry Jesus likely told some of the same simple stories many times as he traveled in Galilee, the Decapolis, Judea, and near the Jordan. It’s also likely that he varied details in his stories to fit the local situation and who was listening. And also, they were stories and sometimes stories just come out different!
The Message of the Kingdom is the seed in this story. Let’s remind ourselves of what the message about the Kingdom really is. Jesus has come as Son of God, Messiah of the Jews, Savior of the world, to introduce a new Kingdom and a new way of living. Jesus’ Kingdom reverses the values of the world system, even the old system of the Covenant of Law given by Moses. Under the old system you kept the rules, earned your place, and hoped for the best. Inside Jesus’ Way, all is grace, received by faith, and you humbly serve, generously give, and lavishly love.
When you hear the message this is what happens: 1) You just don’t get it. 2) You get it but don’t keep it. 3) You get it but try to mix it with everything else you’ve got and it doesn’t work. 4) You get it, embrace it, and live a life that blesses everyone you interact with. And the blessing multiplies beyond measure!
Father, May my friends and I hear the message fresh and new. And may we get it, really get it, and embrace it, and live it. And may the blessing multiply beyond measure!