Monday, June 04, 2012

Parable of the Sower

Okay, this is the parable of the Sower and Jesus interpretation of it:

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

9His disciples asked him what this parable meant.

11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

A Lamp on a Stand
16"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."

The annoying thing about all these Bible folks is that they are so in the spiritual worlds that they make these gigantic leaps of thought and the shallow carnal mind -- like ahem, yours truly-- finds itself asking, "Okay, why did he just say that? Why'd he leap from this topic to that topic? I don't quite follow the thread of his thinking."

Well yesterday there I was.

I get the first part. The seed is the word of God. The parable is about how the word is alive and yet it needs to be planted in good ground: the heart. The parable is also about faith in a good heart and our endurance.

Then Jesus jumps to the lamp under the jar.
Okay, I got that. (With the help of a minister, so I can't take credit for actually knowing how to understand this thread.) The lamp is our faith. We have to use it. What use is faith if it's not used? We have the word. What use is the word if we don't use it? This is like the parable where Jesus asks, "which of you has a servant and doesn't use it?" So I get it. And I see it's connection to the parable of the sower...and to faith, enduring, and using of resources. Cause so many of these parables are about how resources are used.

Then Jesus jumps to a comment about stuff that is hidden.
Well, I get that also. Took a while but I sat there and then the Holy Spirit kinda helped me to see. Once again it's talking about the heart. It's the old "As a man thinks in his heart so is he" verse. It's the idea that what is unseen in the heart will manifest in some ways at some time and will be seen. Evil or unbelief or assumptions in the heart will bear fruit in our lives. So if in the core of one's heart one simply does not believe that good will ever come to one's life....sooner or later "truth will out."

Then Jesus jumps to watching how one hears. And by this time I'm like thinking, "Why does he collapse all this wisdom so close to each other? Why can't he explain everything he means instead of dropping one deep bomb after another?" But I get it. One must guard the faith and the beliefs and the hopes in one's heart. VERY CAREFULLY. Faith comes by hearing and loss of faith comes by hearing.

Then Jesus jumps to another comment, the old line that's in Billy Holliday's "God bless the child." Basically he says, "Then that's got shall get, them that's not shall lose." And again, I'm like... "Lord Jesus! Please! I'm not following you."
But then I get it. If you have little faith, and you don't watch out to preserve the purity of your faith you are going to diminish it by unbelief. It's not a case of the amount of faith because God has given to each the measure of faith and we all have the same one talent. (Okay, there are two parables about talents. One with folks being given equal amounts and another parable with folks being given equal amounts. But the basic teaching is the same: Do not waste your faith, do not take the easy road of not investing your faith. Do not allow your faith to dwindle.

Upshot, although many seeds are sown and many hear the spiritual truth about faith...there are few folks out there who actually get wonderful return on their faith. Of the folks who actually get some kind of good plant from their seeds -- folks who avoided the hard rock, the weeds, the wayside-- there are some who only get 30 fold, and seventyfold.

As Jesus said we bear fruit -- and get results from our faith in sowing God's word in our life-- through having an honest and good heart and through patient endurance.


Tia Nevitt said...

Just read the Beatitudes. It's amazing how a little maturity changes the way you read something. I've listened to this read many times before, but this is the first time I've read it with a study Bible in hand. It made a big difference.

Tia Nevitt said...

Oops, I guess I had two thoughts going at the same time with that earlier comment. Both thoughts apply!

Anonymous said...

It's Anon here,
I have a question for you Carole, outside of this blog of course: how do you feel about "outside music?" I like Coldplay, and I listen to some Jazz and plenty of good gospel. I'm a fan of rock music(not hardcore stuff)-should I just be selective and enjoy the good music or is there a divine ear I should have concerning that in your opinion. Thanks.

Carole McDonnell said...

Hi Tia:

Yes, isn't it amazzing what spiritual maturity does! And what a good teacher can do to make one understand a verse! YAY for Bible studies. And yay, too! for the Holy Spirit who also helps us to understand these passages. -C

Carole McDonnell said...

Wow, Anon!!!

I feel so humbled that you'd ask me that question.

Honestly, I can only say to watch what the music does to you. I listen to everything. Everything. All kinds of music does different things to my soul. If I listen to Chris Isaak, I think about sex all day. Which is cool SOMETIMES if that music makes me think about me and my husband. But sometimes when I listen to Chris, I find myself getting into a sensual mode...and just generally indulging sexual lustful thoughts about gorgeous guys in general and Chris Isaak in particular.

The same can be said for when I listen to angry songs. Driving Dirty by Chamillionaire is a song that heals me because it shows the hurt and anger I feel toward cops is really a social problem I have got to fight against when the Lord makes me richer and more influential. I see it as a social song.

"Baby Got back" is a song some Christians wouldn't touch but I find it a song that honors black women and although it refers to sex it doesn't make me lustful or want to go outside and find a lover.

I have two rules, though:
1) Start the day with a Christian song or two.

2) Avoid Christian songs that are not theologically right. Hymns that say opposite things that the Bible says. New hit songs that one ends up confessing stuff that just is not right. Yep, although I know some of those songs are "true" we shouldn't go around singing about how evil we are or prone to sinning.

It's not what type of music that matters it's whether it pulls you from God or pulls you into your darkest self or pulls you toward doubt, despair, etc. I, for one, have never sung Imagine. And when someone sings it near me, I tell them the reason I don't like it. And if I hear it on the radio, I rise up and condemn it and speak my confession: THERE IS A HEAVEN. I WILL NOT IMAGINE THERE IS NO HEAVEN.

Hope that helps. -C

Anonymous said...

Yes this helps me tremendously...I always thought that I should listen to what I want because my maturity. I'm mature enough not to cheat on my fiance :) I listen to different things for different reasons. And its strange because I listen to a few Christian songs and pray to start my day, then whatever song I click on my laptop thats what I will listen to according to my mood. But thats for that enlightenment I do feel better!

Blog Archive

Popular Posts