18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Jesus continues to answer the question from His disciples about parables by going beyond “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” (v10) to explaining a few parables. In the case above it is the parable of the sower He gave at the beginning of this chapter
3 [H]e told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop; a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
I don’t know about you, but I have read a number of explanations of the parables of Jesus. However, no one comes close to the clarity of Jesus when He explains His parables. In His explanation of the birds who came along and ate the seed that fell along the path. The explanation He provides is very specific When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the best explanation I have ever read of the original parable, plus it gives much to think about. There are many thoughts and ideas that are planted in our hearts, but if we do not understand what is planted there they will not remain and no matter their value they will not remain in our hearts.
Still if we add more depth to the thoughts and ideas in our hearts, adding understanding, then they will become fruitful. Thus, we should be careful of what ideas and thoughts we nurture and seek understanding of within our hearts – especially those we would want to put into practice. I added this caveat because sometimes we need to understand what the enemy has planned or intends. Conversely we should seek ever greater understanding of thoughts and ideas we wish to put into practice.
For me there are two quotes from Paul’s writings I wish to have ever greater understanding of as I seek to put them into practice.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Do you care to share some thoughts or ideas you wish to nurture and gain greater understanding of and put into practice in your life?