Sunday, June 25, 2023

A Study of Matthew Chapter 13:1-9 & 18-23

by Stan Feldsine (

Matthew 13:1-09 - The Parable of the Sower &

Matthew 13:18-23 - The Parable of the Sower Explained

Instruction for Jew and Gentile - Both Jews and Gentiles would need to be instructed in the mystery program. The Gentiles would be coming into a relationship with God that they never had before, and the Jewish people would be coming into the knowledge that what was once theirs alone (relationship with God) would now be shared with the Gentiles. This caused consternation among the religious Jews because they considered the Gentiles to be unclean (Rom 3:22, Eph 2:13, Rom 11:17). Additionally, both Jew and Gentile would be instructed in a major change in which the Holy Spirit would now not just exist outside of the people and come upon them from time to time for a specific purpose, but the Holy Spirit would now come to live inside of them (Col 1:27).

God's Word to be Sown - Matthew shows that the mystery program would be characterized by the sowing of the seed (God's Word) to the Gentiles (Eph 2:13). The Jewish people who believed would be taught that the Gentiles were now sharers in the riches, and that they would need to accept this (Rom 11:17), for God was no respecter of persons regarding salvation. This was a major change in God's program and it came about due to Israel's rejection of the King and Kingdom (Rom 11:12, Act 10:34-35).

God's Word to be Resisted and Have Varied Responses - Jesus begins His teaching of the mystery program with parables on the same day that the religious leaders of Israel rejected Him with the unforgivable sin. Later on Paul will explain the mystery far more clearly. The parable of the sower introduces several motifs that are used throughout the parables. These motifs include ideas like seed (the Word of God), sowing seed (preaching and teaching), birds, thorns and rocky places (forces attempting to keep us from accepting or understanding the Word), etc. If you understand the motifs being used here in this parable, you will also understand their use in other parables.

Seed - The "seed" is the Word of God. When we take in the Word of God, it has the potential to be extremely fruitful (Mat 13:3, Luk 8:11).

Farmer - The Farmer sows seed and represents anyone who shares the gospel (Mat 13:3).

Soil - Also referred to as the "field", soil represents the receptivity of the human heart to hear, accept and understand that which is sown in it. Some soil is good and some bad, and accordingly some people have receptive hearts and others have closed hearts.

Soil - Birds By the Wayside - This is the response of unbelief. The Word of God is shared with those who chose not to believe what is being said about the gospel. What is sown in the heart is never germinated, or believed, it just gets carried away. Unbelieving scribes and Pharisees would fall into this category. They heard the message of the King and Kingdom but never believed it (Mat 13:4, Mat 13:19).

Soil - Rocky Places - This represents seed that is sown in a place where there is not much soil. Seeds sown in rocky places will germinate and put forth a plant, but because there is little soil the plant quickly dies (Mat 13:5-6, Mat 13:20-21). This type of soil represents those who hear the word, and believe, but they are never rooted in the Word and grow accordingly. Their spiritual life is never stabilized, and they tend to be driven by emotion and experience (1Co 3:1-3, Heb 5:11-14, Eph 4:11-14).

Soil - Thorny Ground - Like the rocky ground, these also believe, but they never seem to be able to overcome the cares of the world. These may have a solid understanding of God's Word, but are unable to apply their knowledge to their lives, resulting in difficulty living consistent spiritual lives because of their being overcome with the cares of the world. These also do not produce much fruit and they also suffer from spiritual immaturity (Luk 8:14, Mat 13:7, Mat 13:22).

Soil - Good Soil - The good soil represents people who believe and are rooted in God's Word and apply it. They also are productive in spiritual life and are growing. The production of fruit will vary, but good fruit at some level is present in their lives (Mat 13:8, Mat 13:23).

The Disciples Question Jesus - After hearing the Parable of the Sower, the disciples asked Jesus about the parables. Mark records Jesus stating to His disciples that in order to understand any of the parables, they must understand the parable of the sower (Mar 4:13).

No comments:

Post a Comment