“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As He scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots hadn’t grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up.
Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and chocked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”
And Jesus concluded, “Listen then, if you have ears!” (Matthew 13: 3-9)
The purpose of the parables
Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”
Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 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 the little he has.
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. 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, because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes.
Otherwise, their eyes would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’
As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. I assure you that many prophets and many of God’s people wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.” (Matthew 13: 10-16).
Jesus explains the parable of the sower
“Listen then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. Those who hear the message about 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.
The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 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.
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.
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.” (Matthew 13: 18-23).
Understanding the parable
In the parable, Jesus talked about the sower. He is the sower; the one who doesn’t choose or discriminate against anyone. He preaches about the Kingdom of Heaven to anyone who cares to listen. He even gives chances to those who might not even listen, and He does it tirelessly; without giving up.
The seeds on the other hand, are the gospel and we are the soil. Some of us are likened to the soil along the path, others to rocky ground, others to thorny bushes and others to good soil, depending on how we understand the gospel, and our faith in relation to it.
This parable used by Jesus helps us reflect on the kind of people we are. How strong is our faith?
“What type of soil am I?” This is the question we need to ask ourselves.