We have been looking at some of the details of how and why Yeshua taught about the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. With this post we begin our study of the meat of His teachings.
Matthew 13:1-9 (KJV)
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
As we begin this chapter we see that Yeshua went out of the house and sat by the sea side (verse 1). Multitudes gathered around Him, so He went into a ship and sat down, while the multitude stayed on the shore (verse 2). He then began to teach (verse 3). Notice that He taught the multitudes using parables. Please see previous post for Yeshua's reasons.
In this parable a sower (a farmer) went out to sow his seed. In ancient days, the farmer would simply scatter seed over his field. According to verse 4, some of the seed fell by the wayside, which is ground next to a road. It is hard and has not been prepared for planting. Since the seed could not penetrate the soil, birds came and ate up the seed. Other seed fell upon stony ground where there wasn't much dirt (verse 5). The seed sprang up, but it was spindly because of the lack of soil. Therefore, when the sun was up, the plants were scorched and they withered away (verse 6). Verse 7 says that some of the seed fell among thorns. They also sprouted, but ended up by being choked by the thorns. Finally, some of the seed fell into good ground (verse 8). This seed sprang up, grew, and brought forth fruit. Some produced an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. Then Yeshua urged His hearers to not only hear, but to truly understand (verse 9).
At this point, Yeshua's disciples came to Him for some explanation of what the parable meant.
Matthew 13:18-23 (KJV)
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Yeshua began His explanation by describing what the four types of soil represented. Verse 19 says that the seed that falls by the wayside represents one who hears the Word of the Kingdom, but doesn't understand it. At that point, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
Yeshua doesn't give us a lot of information, but with what He has told us, we can decipher what the rest is about. Obviously, the soil represents types of people who hear the Word of the Kingdom, which is the Word of God (the Bible). The Kingdom, itself, is not Heaven, but the Millennial Kingdom that Yeshua will physically set up upon His return. Currently, the Kingdom exists only spiritually and it is the Kingdom that we enter into when we are born again. The farmer can be none other than Yeshua, who was preaching and teaching about repentance and faith, and how to enter into the Kingdom. This first type of person hears the Word, but doesn't understand it, and Satan (the wicked one), represented by the birds, snatches the Word away.
In verse 20 the stony soil represents one who hears the Word of God and received it with joy. However, he doesn't have much root and so he becomes offended when tribulation and persecution arise because of the Word (verse 21).
The thorny soil represents one who hears the Word of God, but becomes unfruitful, because the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word (verse 22).
Lastly, the good soil represents one who hears the Word and understands it. This one will bear fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold (verse 23).
Stay tuned for part 2 of the Parable of the Sower!