Tuesday 10 September 2013

Matthew 13:1-23 - The sower

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The well-known parable about sowing seeds is in Matthew 12:1-23; read it through carefully and think about it in detail. This is one of many life-based parables and similes Jesus uses to explain how the kingdom of heaven works. This is because there are great similarities between how living things work and how the kingdom works.

Think about spreading, germinating, growing and fruiting. But also think about preparing soil, sowing, watering, sunlight, weeding, using fertiliser, harvesting, and separating good from bad.

Jesus tells this parable (among many others) to a large crowd on the sea shore. He explains why he teaches this way when the disciples ask him; it has something to do with fulfilling Old Testament writings but it also has much to do with understanding and not understanding. It's because there's a significant difference between a disciple and everyone else.

If this seems harsh and unfair, remember that anyone can become a disciple and everyone is invited. There's no entrance exam and no fee to pay; Jesus gives freely to anyone who is willing to follow him. Quite simply, seeing and understanding are the rewards of following. It doesn't depend on ability but on willingness.

Reread Matthew 11:46-12:3 and notice that this is all on the same day. Those who follow Jesus are his family, they are the ones who live with him and they are the ones who understand.

So Jesus explains the parable to his disciples, his family. In a sense, this parable is about itself. What kind of ground has the seed found in your life? Are you a disciple? Are you family? Are you fruitful?

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