Parables of Jesus

2.Sower and the Soils

Mark 4:3-20
3"Listen! A sower went out to sow.4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil,and it sprang up quickly,since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundred fold." 9And he said, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"

10When he was alone, those who are around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables.11 And he said to them,"To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God,but for those outside, everything comes in parables;12 in order that
'they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.' "

13And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?
14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy.17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are those sown among the thorns:these are ones who hear the word, 19but cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."

Essentials of this parables
A farmer sowed his seed on various kinds of soil. The seed fallen on three kinds of soil did not grow to produce crops. But some seed fallen on a good soil produced plenty of crops.

B.The definition of words used by Jesus himself
The sower is the son of man (Jesus Christ).Matt.13:37
The seed is the word of the kingdom(the Gospel).Matt.13:19
The soil is the hearts of people.Mark4:15

C.The seed fallen on four kinds of soils
1.The seed fallen on the road were eaten by birds.
2.The one fallen on the rock sprouted soon, but the plants were scorched when the Sun rose.
3.The one fallen among the thorns did not bear grain because of choking by the grown up thorns.
4.The one fallen on the good soil grew and produced a crop thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

Explanation of this parable
T.People having the hearts of Road.
They are people who hear the word, but do not understand(Matt.13:19).In order for them not to believe and to be saved, the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts(Luke8:12). They are people like pharisees and scribes who are arrogant and have hard heart like the path trampled on.

U.People having the hearts of Rock
They are people who believe joyfully, but do not endure long and stumble when they are confronted with difficulties and persecutions on behalf of the Word.
The Word does not permeate their hearts deeply, so their faith exist only in their heads.Or they confessed their faith according to their mood of the moment.
And some people take hold of another faith or thought deep in their hearts such as idolatry and evolutionism.

V.People having the thorn choke their hearts
They hear and believe the word,but "their fruit does not mature"(Luke8:14),because of being choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life.
People of 1and 2 types are not born again Christian, but those of 3 and 4 types are born again Christians.
Christians of this 3 type are those who did not put their faith into practice and failed in having their faith grow.

W.People having the hearts of Good soil
Luke8:15 tells "These are the ones who,when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance".
Honest(kalos in Greek) means "beautiful, as an outward sign of the inward good, noble, honorable character"(by A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament).
And Good (agathos in Greek) means the goodness, about which Jesus said "No one is good but God alone"(Mark 10:18).
The heart so noble and good can not be made by the work of man.The heart is born and made alive by the Holy Spirit.
The fruit born by the people of this type are fruits of the Holy Spirit(Gal 5:22,23), and good works according to the Will of God(Matt7:15-23).

What this parable teaches
A.It teaches us what and how we should learn
This parable makes it clear that it is the Gospel and the Word of God, that is the Bible,that we should learn and study.
When he told this parable,he spoke aloud "Let anyone with ears to hear listen"(Luke8:8). It means that anyone who want to be saved,let him hear attentively and humbly what I say.

B.It teaches us that we should be patient and wait long time before we bear fruit in Christian life as well as farmers are.
We live in the age of instant foods and are accustomed to getting the result immediately.But the Lord compared evangelizing work to farming.A proverb of Japan goes that Peach and chestnut trees bear fruits in three years,and persimmon trees in eight.The missionary work in Japan is far more difficult than farming job.

C. This parable teaches us the fundamental rule to understand and explain the other parables.

This parable is one of the only two which Lord Jesus himself explained and expounded. The another one is the parable of tares (weeds)(Matt13:24-43). In Mark4:13 Jesus gave his disciples a bitter counsel saying "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?" This saying suggests that the parable of sower and it's explanation are the basis of other parables.

1 Dec. 2007 Published

The Gospel of Christ Ministry