Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

This parable is a clear reflection of the context in which Jesus told his parables. He is talking to Galilean farmers who knew the practices and experiences of farming in the Galilee. This parable builds on their experiences of regularly sowing a lot of seed and not getting much yield from it. It is profoundly discouraging to see things come up only to have them die before they have reached maturity. All people who work with gardens know this experience, but it was especially the case where there was lots of very thin soil.Jesus is building on that experience and using it as a parable for the kingdom of God.

It was true in Jesus' day and it is true today, I hear a lot of rhetoric of discouragement among people who are discouraged about the kingdom of God. There are a whole lot of things that die or just don't work. People get discouraged and think that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Basically there is no hope. Since there's no basis for expectation of the fulfillment of the hopes for the kingdom of God, people get discouraged and give up.

This parable addresses that experience in relation to the experience of farmers. on Galilean farms. Jesus is telling them what they already know and have experienced."You know what it's like sowing seed. A sower went out to sow and some fell on the path and the birds came and ate it." Jesus is inviting them to remember their experience.The contrast is between the three kinds of seeds that yield nothing and the harvest of those that do bear fruit.

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