Parables: The Sower

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Introduces the idea and purpose of parables, then digs into the 1st of Jesus's parables, the parable of the sower.


Introduction to Parables

What is a parable?
Parables are stories used to illustrate or explain a concept or situation by analogy, or example
Parables are used throughout history for teaching people, Ex. the boy who cried wolf.
In the Bible parables were used both in the old and new testaments, although Jesus’s parables are the ones that are most well known.
Jesus’s parables are usually metaphors, using everyday situations to explain higher concepts, such as the Kingdom of God, the Heart of the Father, the coming judgement, and even explaining the situations that those around him are in.
We are going to take the next few weeks to explore some of the parables
The first one, the parable of the Sower, is one of the more famous, but it also crosses over several different themes. themes we will explore in other parables in later weeks.

The Parable of the Sower

English Standard Version (Chapter 4)
4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil.
6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
This is the First parable the gospels record, and at first seems to be a story about agriculture.
How many of you would be able to interpret it without an explanation?
Thankfully, Jesus explains this one, which helps us see how we are to interpret other parables.
10 And when he was alone, those around him 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 is in parables,
12 so that“ ‘they may indeed see but not perceive,and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’ ”
That might seem to be harsh, Jesus is speaking in parables so that not everyone turns from sin and is forgiven. - I don’t think that’s a good understanding of this verse.
Jesus quotes Isaiah 6 here, where God pronounces judgement on those who choose not to listen to warnings. Jesus speaks in parables to separate those who do listen, those who solve the riddles of the parables and hear the warnings and repent, from those who do not want to bother with figuring out the parables, who will face judgement.
Jesus is separating those who listen from those who don’t. - We will explore this more in the coming weeks with other parables.
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word.
15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
Path - Packed hard lifeless earth, or even paved, nothing penetrates it, these people hear the word and repel it away from them.
Many of these people have been trampled on by “Christians” or “churches” in the past. and so they reject any hope that Christ offers.
Rocky soil - People who seem to accept Christ, and do so joyfully, but have no root. When life start to get hard again, when the miracles cease, when they go home after the sermon or conference or revival, they fade away.
Church. One of our goals should be to help new believers grow roots. so that they have someplace to go when times start getting hard.
Thorns - People who accept Christ, and grow as Christians, but never share the gospel with others, who don’t live in a Christ like way because they are afraid.
Do you need to pull some weeds out of your own life? how many of you have failed to share the gospel because you were afraid of how people might react?
Good soil - where the Gospel message leads to genuine change, and to people who share the gospel with others.
Like the Formerly Demon possessed man i talked about a few weeks ago. His one experience led to 5000 experiencing the love of Jesus.
Heres the point church: you shouldn’t be trying to identify yourself with the soils, but with the sower.
How can we as a church spread the word of God to as many people as possible?
Get involved in our communities
Outreaches, ministry
How can we reach out to those who have been hurt by “christians” in the past, and help soften their hearts to the Gospel?
We need to stand up for those who have been hurt by the church. We need to show the love of Jesus to people.
We need to show people that we will accept them as they are, Just as Christ does.
How can we help new believers develop roots, and help them overcome the rocks in their life?
We need to welcome new believers into the church
Focus on discipleship, and digging into the word of God.
How can we help each other remove the thorns in our live that choke out our ability to spread the gospel?
Encouraging each other, going out as teams, keeping each other accountable
How can we grow in our ministry so that the harvest is 30, 60, or 100 times that which was sown?
the disciple ship equation.
1 person makes one disciple in one year
the next year they both go out and make one new disciple each
the next year those four all go out and make one new disciple each, and so on
in 31 years over 8 billion people (the population of earth) will be reached.
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