The Parable of Sower
Parables: The King’s secrets
40 Blogs of Lent: Day 26: Parable 1
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 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, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:1–9 ESVUK
We are moving on into the next teaching section of Matthews Gospel, and the first time we get any details of Jesus teaching the ordinary people. Prior to this, chapters 5–7, the teaching of the sermon on the mount, was to his followers and chapter 10 was about going out on missions. All we know of his preaching before this is that he preached, “Repent, for the Kingdon of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17.
Matthew has not got around to the subject of what Jesus taught the people yet because although his Gospel has the most systematic teaching of the synoptic gospels, which is what draws me to Matthew, this teaching is not what this gospel is about. Matthew has been busy setting up who Jesus is. The miracles in chapters 8 and 9 were arranged to show that Jesus had the power of God alongside showing the care for the downtrodden and ostracised by society.
There are seven parables in this section of the gospel, OK there’s eight, but two of them are together making the same point. Matthew uses numbers in a significant way, writing as a first-century Jew for a Jewish Christian audience. The full code of what the numbers signify has been lost, but it is believed that 7, the number of days in a week even today. The seventh day of creation is the day God rested after creating the heavens and the earth. Seven it is believed is the number of completion.
There is a second section to this where Jesus explains to the disciples what he meant when he told this parable to the people, and also explains why he taught in parables. But as Jesus did not explain the parable of the sower or rather the parable of the seed as that is the focus of the story, not the sower. Why not go back to the top of the blog and read it again.