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Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Sower and the Seed – Matthew 13:3-23

        The first parable about the kingdom of heaven is about the Sower, the seed and the soils. Perhaps Jesus from the boat saw a farmer sowing seed in a field. He would use this “natural” event to teach the multitudes and his disciples about the “spiritual” kingdom of heaven.
In biblical times, a farmer would have a bag of seed that he would throw out by hand to the ground. They didn’t have machines that tilled the soil and made straight rows for the seed as we do today. The seed would grow where it was tossed. Apparently in the field, there were hardened paths that the sowers had walked on making the soil compressed and hard. There were also rocky sections and places where thorns were growing. Then there were sections that were fertile ground with no obstacles. If a wind came up, it would scatter the seed that had been tossed. In the “spiritual,” the wind of the Holy Spirit scatters the seed of the Word to humanity.
Luke in 8:11 says that “the seed is the Word of God,” and Mark calls it “the Word.” Matthew says it is the “message of the Kingdom.”
            Jesus is sowing the Seed of His Word from the boat to different types of hearts. The Seed of God, Jesus, who is the Word of God in fullness, had to be removed from earth in His physical form so the Holy Spirit could be poured out on all flesh and scatter the Seed of His Word  to the four corners of the earth.   

The Sower

        Jesus is the Supreme Sower as the Living Word of God. All Truth is in Him. His “seed” began in a small (humble) section of the land of Israel. For the seed to grow, it must be planted in the ground. Jesus had to die in His flesh body, so the seed of His Word could grow and multiply through the Holy Spirit of Truth and His disciples. John 13:16: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will tell you things to come.” The kingdom of God began in little, humble Israel. Jesus, the Savior of the world, planted His seed of Truth in the small nation of Israel in the hearts and minds of both Jews and Gentiles in the land. His Word has now spread throughout the world. God does not despise small beginnings, and He loves humble hearts.
            Jesus will reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God to His disciples who will in turn cast the Seed of Truth to others. Those who love and follow Jesus become sowers of truth also. Before one can be a sower, however, he or she must first be a receiver and eater of the Word. Then they can be a sower of the seed of God’s Word, and God mysteriously will do His part in making it take root and grow in the hearts and minds of some who receive it. The Word of God is powerful and can give spiritual life and reproduce itself by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the natural, God sends the rain, dew, and the sun to cause earthly, sown seed to grow. In the spiritual, He sends the dew and rain of His Holy Spirit to water the sown seed of the Word, along with the Light of the Son to cause His spiritual seed to grow. Mankind does not have the power to make the seed grow in the hearts of the hearers. The power of God must do this. The life placed within the Seed of the Word is by God Himself! The task of the believer is to know and understand the Truth and send it forth to others as clearly as possible. God will give the increase.
             Not everyone will receive the seed of truth we sow by faith. That is not our concern. We are to continue sowing and God will produce the results. God wants that none will perish, but there will be those who reject God and His Truth as Jesus indicated in this parable. The Seed of the Word will not be received by the hardened heart, but to those who are spiritually sensitive and open to receive it more revelation of truth will be given. (see Matthew 13:12) Those who receive and understand Jesus’ parables are truly blessed.
            There is another sower – the devil. He will sow false truth and twist God’s Word to change its meaning in order to manipulate and weaken God’s people. God told His people in the Law that they were not to plant mixed seed. Deuteronomy 22:9-11: Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled. There are two types of spiritual seed that can be sown – the good seed (Truth) and the evil seed (untruth). If you mix these, the fruit of the vineyard (Christ’s Church) will be defiled. The devil is not only in the world sowing untruth, he is also in the Church sowing untruth. For this reason, we are to hunger and thirst for the truth of the Word of God. When Jesus was speaking His parables, there was a gross rebellion of unbelief and spiritual misunderstanding of God’s Word.
God’s Word will divide the believer from the unbeliever, then multiply and unite believers by the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Unity can only come through pure truth. If false truth is being spoken, it will divide rather than unite. Love for Jesus, faith and obedience to His Word will indicate whether one is in the kingdom of God or not.
In this parable, Jesus made the distinction between the crowds and His disciples. His disciples at times didn’t fully understand Jesus’ words, but they followed Him by faith and asked Jesus to interpret His words for them when they didn’t understand. Jesus gave His disciples further revelation but not to those who rejected Him and His teachings. Some of the hearers even accused Him of being satanic.
        This parable of Christ is an important one in its depth of teaching about the seed of the Word being sown and how it works in the field of spiritual life. The soil conditions will affect its growth in the heart of the hearer.

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