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The Parable of the Sower

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  • The Parable of the Sower

    Luke 8:

    4
    As a large crowd was gathering, and people were flocking to Him from every town, He said in a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 Other seed fell on the rock; when it sprang up, it withered, since it lacked moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 Still other seed fell on good ground; when it sprang up, it produced a crop: 100 times what was sown.” As He said this, He called out, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
    Why Jesus Used Parables


    9 Then His disciples asked Him, “What does this parable mean?” 10 So He said, “The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that

    Looking they may not see,
    and hearing they may not understand.[a]

    What does verse 9 and 10 mean?

    Thanks.


  • #2
    Many people often define a parable as a story meant to illustrate Divine principles or the Kingdom of God to unbelievers. On the contrary, they appear intended to illustrate truths only to believers who are led by the Spirit, but make no sense to those who are blinded from the truth.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Christian3 View Post
      Luke 8:

      4
      As a large crowd was gathering, and people were flocking to Him from every town, He said in a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 Other seed fell on the rock; when it sprang up, it withered, since it lacked moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 Still other seed fell on good ground; when it sprang up, it produced a crop: 100 times what was sown.” As He said this, He called out, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
      Why Jesus Used Parables


      9 Then His disciples asked Him, “What does this parable mean?” 10 So He said, “The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that

      Looking they may not see,
      and hearing they may not understand.[a]

      What does verse 9 and 10 mean?

      Thanks.
      It is best to go to Matthew 13 for the explanation.

      verse 14

      This is a quote or paraphrase from Is 6:9-10


      The prophecy described people in the first century who would not come to Christ and thus would not be shared with the understanding of the kingdom of God and how it would be fulfilled. This quotation also was a sign of Jesus as the Anointed One. So, they should have understood the fulfillment from this and many other aspects of Jesus' ministry.

      The ultimate reasoning seems to be that people (whether Jewish or Gentile) needed to come by trust toward God rather than just intellectual persuasion. Of course, this is quite a reductionist explanation and could be described more thoroughly and accurately in light of the broader set of prophecies. One aspect is that if Jews came in great response to the gospel at that time, then then same destructive influences would have simply been propagated into the Messianic movement (i.e, Christianity). The simple way to see this is that the Pharisees had emphasized appearance -- self glorification to be examples to others. If this mentality continued into Christianity, then Christianity would have ended as quickly as it started.

      As to the secrets of the kingdom, I think these have been forgotten. However, this has not been detrimental to the church to this point. But these elements did not seem to be within the scope of the original post.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Faber View Post
        Many people often define a parable as a story meant to illustrate Divine principles or the Kingdom of God to unbelievers. On the contrary, they appear intended to illustrate truths only to believers who are led by the Spirit, but make no sense to those who are blinded from the truth.
        Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post

          It is best to go to Matthew 13 for the explanation.

          verse 14

          This is a quote or paraphrase from Is 6:9-10


          The prophecy described people in the first century who would not come to Christ and thus would not be shared with the understanding of the kingdom of God and how it would be fulfilled. This quotation also was a sign of Jesus as the Anointed One. So, they should have understood the fulfillment from this and many other aspects of Jesus' ministry.

          The ultimate reasoning seems to be that people (whether Jewish or Gentile) needed to come by trust toward God rather than just intellectual persuasion. Of course, this is quite a reductionist explanation and could be described more thoroughly and accurately in light of the broader set of prophecies. One aspect is that if Jews came in great response to the gospel at that time, then then same destructive influences would have simply been propagated into the Messianic movement (i.e, Christianity). The simple way to see this is that the Pharisees had emphasized appearance -- self glorification to be examples to others. If this mentality continued into Christianity, then Christianity would have ended as quickly as it started.

          As to the secrets of the kingdom, I think these have been forgotten. However, this has not been detrimental to the church to this point. But these elements did not seem to be within the scope of the original post.
          Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Christian3 View Post

            Thank you.
            Now... I didn't want to leave you with my understanding. Partly, my idea extends to a broader view ... albeit involving more interpretation.

            One commentary notes (France, R. T. Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985. ) notes for Matt 13:14-15

            The wording of the introductory formula is not that of the formula-quotations, but it conveys the same idea of fulfilment. Isaiah 6:9–10 was not in fact a prediction for the distant future but rather for Isaiah’s own experience, but this experience formed a typological pattern which is now fulfilled as Jesus re-enacts the role of the Old Testament prophet. Perhaps a statement of fact, with them indeed is fulfilled, is used rather than the usual purpose clause to show that the spiritual dullness was the situation within which Jesus taught rather than itself the product of his teaching
            My view is certainly different. A problem with this commentary is first that it assumes the disciples were enlightened (which they were not -- nor did they understand what Jesus was saying) and therefore seems more of a gnostic (insider to the secrets) viewpoint based on this ability of the disciples. Also Isa 6:9-10 is likely prophetic. But it gets tricky following Isaiah since there may be events during his lifetime mixed in with prophesies of the time of Christ. I tend to see the fate of Jerusalem appearing over and over again throughout the letter. Another passage says "who will believe our report" which is then quoted in Romans 10:16 (Isa 53:1).

            A difference from Luke ... Matthew seeks to show the full assembling of parables which promote the accumulative details from each parable -- and is geared to the knowledge of the kingdom pertinent to Jews. Luke did not have to present such an overview for the Gentiles. With Mark 4, too few parables are given to get the better understanding of the kingdom of God.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post

              Now... I didn't want to leave you with my understanding. Partly, my idea extends to a broader view ... albeit involving more interpretation.

              One commentary notes (France, R. T. Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985. ) notes for Matt 13:14-15



              My view is certainly different. A problem with this commentary is first that it assumes the disciples were enlightened (which they were not -- nor did they understand what Jesus was saying) and therefore seems more of a gnostic (insider to the secrets) viewpoint based on this ability of the disciples. Also Isa 6:9-10 is likely prophetic. But it gets tricky following Isaiah since there may be events during his lifetime mixed in with prophesies of the time of Christ. I tend to see the fate of Jerusalem appearing over and over again throughout the letter. Another passage says "who will believe our report" which is then quoted in Romans 10:16 (Isa 53:1).

              A difference from Luke ... Matthew seeks to show the full assembling of parables which promote the accumulative details from each parable -- and is geared to the knowledge of the kingdom pertinent to Jews. Luke did not have to present such an overview for the Gentiles. With Mark 4, too few parables are given to get the better understanding of the kingdom of God.
              Someone of another faith said this parable means that Jesus didn't want everyone to be saved. “The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that

              Looking they may not see,
              and hearing they may not understand."

              I found an article yesterday that is interesting so I'll pass it on to you:

              https://equip.sbts.edu/article/jesus...onfuse-people/




              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Christian3 View Post

                Someone of another faith said this parable means that Jesus didn't want everyone to be saved. “The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that

                Looking they may not see,
                and hearing they may not understand."

                I found an article yesterday that is interesting so I'll pass it on to you:

                https://equip.sbts.edu/article/jesus...onfuse-people/

                I would roughly agree that Christians tend to have a mystical assurance of their justification through Christ. The effect is to trust God and scriptures, to have context for understanding scriptures. This gives us an edge toward understanding scriptures. Beyond that, as I already noted, the disciples did not understand the passage apart from what Jesus explained. Did Jesus explain the other Matt 13 parables to them? Probably. But it was not proper to explain them only to reveal the meaning to those from whom the meaning was hidden.

                My argument against that article is essentially the same as I noted earlier. The writer assumes that saving knowledge is involved here. That is wrong and tends toward Gnosticism -- of being justified by having hidden knowledge. At least he admitted that the disciples did not understand it. He also correctly questions whether parables only " exist to reveal, clarify, illustrate truth." Jesus may have well spoken the Matt 13 parables to share certain truths. However, there are few people who could say the Matt 13 (Mar 4 and Luke too) parables made everything clearer.

                As to the ability to come to God apart from His calling, I would agree with the writer. However, that point has nothing to do with us understanding the parable. It seems that Christians these days have not generally understood them. Does this disqualify them from being true Christians? No. It partly means that the understanding was not passed on, nor have people dug deep enough to make sense of them. (Plus the preconceptions get in the way.)
                Last edited by mikewhitney; 05-29-2021, 01:26 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post

                  As to the ability to come to God apart from His calling, I would agree with the writer. However, that point has nothing to do with us understanding the parable. It seems that Christians these days have not generally understood them. Does this disqualify them from being true Christians? No. It partly means that the understanding was not passed on, nor have people dug deep enough to make sense of them. (Plus the preconceptions get in the way.)
                  It would have been clearer to say I agree with the writer on the inability to come to God apart from His calling ... of the sheep recognizing the Shepherd's voice.

                  Comment

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