Sowing the Seeds

The Gospel of Matthew is consider to be the Jewish of all the Gospels that the church has today. According to A. Carr , “The date is uncertain. Irenæus however states that St Matthew wrote his Gospel when SS. Peter and Paul were founding the Church in Rome: and the fact that it was published first of the written Gospels rests upon early and uncontradicted testimony”.[1]  Carr also wrote, “St Matthew’s Gospel was primarily intended for the use of the Jewish converts in Palestine. It is this fact that gives its special character to this Gospel[2].” According to U. Luz, “Thus the Gospel of Matthew tells the story of a conflict”.[3] In essence one could argue all of the Gospels in this way. The author is unknown to the modern  reader but whoever wrote this was Jewish. They clearly see Lord Jesus as the New Moses and they write Jesus in such a way. Luz wrote, “This is not a story of conflict but a story of teaching and learning, of misunderstanding and of understanding, of failure and new beginning”[4]. Jesus was the new Moses to bring about the Law again.  Now Matthew 13:1-23 will be broken down. Jesus use parables to get his message across to people. This passage main message  is how people see and act with the word of God. J. B. Green  wrote,”The English word parable refers to a short narrative with two levels of meaning”[5].  Furthermore, Green states, “The Greek and Hebrew words for “parable” are much broader. Jesus’ parables are both works of art and the weapons he used in the conflict with his opponents”[6]. They were the teaching method he chose most frequently to explain the kingdom of God. The parable has hidden message inside the story and was common way of telling stories at this point in time. Craig Keener wrote,

That the parables in Matthew address his people’s acceptance or rejection of the kingdom message follows from the context in Matthew’s narrative: Jesus speaks parables “that same day” that he has confronted Pharisaic opposition (12:24-45) and offered a culturally offensive statement about his family (12:46-50).[7]

 Lord Jesus use the farmer perspective for it would been to know more common known to the people. Keener wrote,“This “parable of the sower” (13:18) draws from natural agricultural conventions, as one would expect from a teacher sensitive to rural Galilean hearers.[8]

 

The Parable of the Sower:The author wrote, “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea”.[9]  This verse is rather simple; Jesus went and sat by the sea in a boat.  The Scribe also states, “And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down”.[10]  Once more Jesus goes out and people come to listen to his teachings by the sea. Furthermore, the biographer wrote, “And the whole crowd stood on the beach”.[11]  The crowd of people stand by the beach to listen to him. The novelist states, “And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow’”.[12] Jesus goes on to tell a story about a sower.  Jesus states, “And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them”.[13] Jesus explain where his seeds fall as he is sowing them along the way.   The scribe wrote, “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,”[14] Some of the seeds fell into rocky soil and come up to soon.  Jesus goes on go explain, “ but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away”.[15] The sun would rise and kill off these plants without soil.  The biographer states, “Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them”.[16] Some of the seeds would grow in the throns and would be killed off by the throns. The author states, “Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears1 let him hear.”[17]  Then Jesus said about some seeds fell in the good soil and they grew and gave much better plants to the planter.

The Purpose of the Parables:

The Scribe wrote, “Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?”[18] Jesus’ followers  came to him and asked him about the meaning of this message.   “And he answered them,’To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given’”.[19]  Jesus explains how his followers would know whathe was saying, but outsiders would not. Lord Jesus states,  For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”.[20]  Jesus talks about how even people with great wealth will have these objects taken from them and even the poor who do not listen to The parable of  the sower will lose more. The scribe wrote, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”.[21]  Jesus explains why he speaks in parables and so most people would not understand. The writer wrote, “ Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand,  and you will indeed see but never perceive.”[22] Jesus is quoting from Isaiah who wrote many years before Jesus had lived. According to Isaiah, someone would come along and speak in parables, and so most people will not understand what he was saying.

The story teller wrote,

For this people’s heart has grown dull,  and with their ears they can barely hear,  and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears  and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’[23]

In this passage, Jesus explains how people are going to react to his message: some will not care

and other will not hear. Some would not see what he is doing for the people. If people were

willing to listen and see what he was doing, he would heal them from all their issues.

The essayist states, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear”.[24]  Jesus is telling them how blessed, they were to live in this time because they’re seeing the Messiah.  The writer states “For truly, I say to you, “many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it”.[25]  Jesus in this passage is explains how blessed they were, when prophets and holy people would have loved to have seen him. This was a hard life and earlier Jews wish to have lived to see the messiah in the flesh.  

The Parable of the Sower Explained:

Lord Jesus states “Hear then the parable of the sower:[26] “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart”. “This is what was sown along the path”.[27]  Jesus  explain in this passage the evil one will come long and  always take the message from listeners for they did not understand. Who is the Evil one ? It is another term for Satan who is trying to destroy humanity. Jesus is telling us to beware of him and be on the watch.The writer writes , “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,”[28]  Jesus explain how people see the message, but over time it died off because they lack firm  foundation.  The essayist states, “yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away”.[29]Lord Jesus states, “As for what was sow among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful”.[30] In this passage, Jesus explains how people listen to his message, but care more about the world and do not listen to him. The biographer writes, “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty”.[31] These are people who listen to him and do what he is saying. If one has not figure out the sower is Jesus, the seeds are his lesson, and the people are different types of soil some are good and others are bad.

What does this message mean to modern readers today?

This passage can be used just as it has been in the past. Jesus’ message is rather simple in this passage compared to many others stories within the Gospels. Let the reader break down the different types of soils that there are again. In the first, place he saved The sower sowed his seeds in the path and birds eat them up. Lange writes, “Ver. 3. [By the wayside.—‘The ordinary roads or paths in the East lead often along the edge of the fields, which are unenclosed. … Hence as the sower scatters his seed, some of it is liable to fall beyond the ploughed portion, on the hard, beaten ground which forms the wayside.’ Dr. Hackett: Illustrations of Scripture, etc., p. 168.]”[32]The second, the sower sow his seeds in rocky soils. There is not enough soil and the sun rises and the plants’ roots died off. Lange writes, “Not merely soil covered with stones, but rocky soil. Think of the terraces used for agricultural purposes in ancient Palestine. The cultivated soil terminated in the rocky abutments of the hills”.[33] This is not  good area to plants seeds, because they will not have soil to grow. Palestine was a desret, sowers in this era needed to know the good soil from the bad soil, where to plant and where not too.

  1. Garland wrote, “

New themes emerge in this discourse that address the following issues: (a) the different kinds of response among persons ; (b) the parables and their purpose ; (c) the requirement of understanding ; and (d) the nature of the kingdom of God . (e) A theme found in every discourse reappears: the threat of judgment .[34]

Jesus is trying to get them ready for the Kingdom of God and he is explaining it in hidden

messages. People who were true follower would stay around and listen to his message.

Thirdly, Jesus explains, other seeds fell among thorns and these seeds grow and choke from

going on thron.  These people fall under pressure from others and stop believing. This has

happened to a lot of Christians over the years. Many Americans today are unchurch and their

familes for generations were Christians but they were not Christian,  in name only. This is

major issue of the modern church. Is America culture the path the throns which so many

different beliefs are allow and have made the Christian message come off as too narrow-mind?

. Is Africa today the good soil ? Many parts of Africa are become Christians. 

  1. B, Gardner writes,

As one might expect, Matthew adds his own touch to the interpretation as he passes it on to us: (1) He identifies the word sown as the word of the kingdom (v. 18), which is the subject of each of the parables in the collection. (2) He contrasts the first and last types of hearers in terms of who does and doesn’t understand (vv. 19, 23), picking up the theme of the previous section. (3) He underscores the fact that hearing should lead to doing, adding a verb which here is translated yields (v. 23), but which is the same verb used elsewhere for one who does God’s will.[35]

Once again these are ageless teaching that clearly can be taught at any age. Now people here in

the States are not farmers for the most part, but people can still can understand what Jesus is

trying to tell the listener.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Carr, A. The Gospel according to St Matthew. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (xvii). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1896 

Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. . A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew . Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software 2008.

  Garland, D. E. (2001). Reading Matthew: A literary and theological commentary on the first Gospel. Reading the New Testament Series (146). Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.

Gardner, R. B. . Matthew. Believers Church Bible Commentary . Scottdale, PA: Herald Press 1991.

Luz, U.. Matthew 1–7: A commentary on Matthew 1–7 (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed.). Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (11).  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 2007

  Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 1992 (J. B. Green, S. McKnight & I. H. Marshall, Ed.) . Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Keener, Craig S. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew 2011. Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Carr, A. The Gospel according to St Matthew. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (xvii). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1896  .

[2] Carr, xvii.  

[3] Luz, U.. Matthew 1–7: A commentary on Matthew 1–7 (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed.). Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (11).  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 2007

[4] Luz, U. (11).

[5] Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 1992 (J. B. Green, S. McKnight & I. H. Marshall, Ed.) (591). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] J. B. Green, 591

[7] Keener, Craig S.. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 371). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

[8] Keener, 375

[9] Matt 13:1

[10] Matt 13:2

[11] Matt 13:3

[12] Matt 13:4

[13] Matt 13:5

[14] Matt 13:6

[15] Matt 13:7

[16] Matt 13:8

[17] Matt 13:9

[18] Matt 13:10

[19] Matt 13:11

[20] Matt 13:12

[21] Matt 13:13

[22] Matt 13: 14

[23] Matt 13: 15

[24] Matt 13:16

[25] Matt 13:17

[26] Matt 13:18

[27] Matt 13:19

[28] Matt 13:20

[29] Matt 13:21

[30] Matt 13:22

[31] Matt 13:23

[32] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P.). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew (239). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software  2008.

[33] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. . A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew (239). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software 2008.

[34] Garland, D. E. (2001). Reading Matthew: A literary and theological commentary on the first Gospel. Reading the New Testament Series (146). Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.

[35] Gardner, R. B. . Matthew. Believers Church Bible Commentary (213). Scottdale, PA: Herald Press 1991.

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