I am excited about our next sermon series. Back in 2010, we spent eight weeks in the parables of Jesus. We are going to return to the parables for five weeks this fall. This series will take us up to Advent. Yes, we are not too far away from Christmas.
This week, we will be discussing the Parable of the Soil. Matthew 13:1-23 describes a transition in Jesus’ teaching from formal synagogue teaching to the open air (hillsides, seashores). The style of teaching will also transition to more story telling. Jesus begins to teach through parables. To fully understand Jesus’ teaching, we must consider first century Palestine. The context includes small farms and manual labor. It is in this setting that Jesus teaches.
The story is short.
(Matthew 13:3–9 NIV11-GK) A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
The crowd takes in the story; many are left scratching their heads and moving on. But the disciples take the time to explore deeper. They ask Jesus to explain. The story is about the potential for God’s truth to change our hearts. Jesus clarifies the parable; it is about how God’s Word will be received. As we hear the story, we are left asking the question, Which one am I?. This is what parables do. They challenge us to consider our lives.
Join us on Sunday as we explore Matthew 13:1-23 together. We will look at Jesus’ teaching to his disciples in which he explains the application of this parable. May we be summoned to consider our place in this story.