THE KEY PARABLE – The Parable of the Sower and the Seed

Now we are going to go to the key parable that is the parable of the Sower and the Seed.

Repetition in Scripture –

In the last verse of John 21, John makes this statement, “If everything that Jesus did and everything He spoke were put into books, I suppose the whole world could not contain the volumes.” Jesus did a lot more, a whole lot more than what is recorded in these four Gospels. Well, that raises a question. If there is so much that is left out, why do you suppose the Holy spirit would go to the effort of taking one incident and inspire three different Gospel writers to record the same incident? Why would not the Holy Spirit have used all those Gospels in an efficient way and just simply recorded one time every one of the events? Instead, we find this ‘parable of the sower’ in three of the four Gospels: Matthew chapter 13, Mark chapter 4, and Luke chapter 8. Why in the world would God take all of that space for this one parable when there was so much more to uphold. Why would God want to tell about the same event three times? Why do you suppose? It must be important! Well, it is important. But it is more than important because God’s ways are not our ways.

Things Hidden and Revealed –

I believe He gives a hint of what He is about in Proverbs 25:2 where it says,

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

You know, the skeptics use these different accounts in the Gospels to try and discredit the Word because the accounts often have differences. Every time there is more than one account of the same event, there will be a difference. You will not read the same thing in both. And it has to do, I believe, with God concealing. And once you recognize that, you will start disciplining yourself because you want to know the truth; you want to know what God is hiding. Because, as you go through these verses and discover what is hidden, you’ll find two of the verses in two of the texts will be exactly the same and the third one will just add a word or a phrase that just gives it so much more meaning or even a different meaning than the other two standing alone – not a contradictory meaning but short of what He is really trying to say.

There is another text in Luke chapter 10, verse 21 that relates to this issue of things hidden and revealed. Jesus is speaking: “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.”

Who was Jesus praising God for revealing things to? Babes! Infants! It’s the way of God. In this parable of the Sower and the Seed we find the same account in three texts, because there are things hidden in there you could only discover by comparing the texts to each other. And we are going to do that in the next several pages.

Jesus teaches in parables because, as He will show us here in this very parable, He intends to hide the secrets, the mysteries, the keys, from a particular class of people, from a particular group of people. And until you realize this, you will read one of them and assume that you’ve gotten out of it all that God is trying to show you or to say to you about it. And if you are lazy enough to just take one text and not pursue the others, you’re going to come up short of that which is to be understood by those who want to know what God is trying to reveal. There are things revealed in this parable that can only be discovered by comparing the different texts. That’s an important little principle.

But I want you to see in this particular parable all of the differences in each text which will help us to discover its secrets.

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed –

I have broken the texts into four parts. All three Gospels have these four parts. The following chart will identify for you the four parts and their place in each of the Gospels.

Parable Text             Introduction            Parable            Mysteries        Explanation

Matthew 13:1 – 23          1 – 3a                     3b – 8                9 – 17               19 – 23

Mark 4:1 – 20                1– 2                        3 – 8                 9 – 13               14 – 20

Luke 8:4 – 15                 4                           5 – 8a                8b – 10              11 – 15

To give you an example of how each of these sections fit within the parable, I will give you an example from the Mark text. There is an introduction to the parable, and in the Mark text it is verses 1 – 2. And then there is the parable itself in verses 3 – 8. And then, before He explains the parable, there is a group of verses that He explains are the mysteries of parables, which in Mark are verses 9 – 13. It’s interesting to note that in the Matthew text the section on the Mysteries is longer than any other section. And then He gathers His inside group together and gives them an explanation in the final section of the meaning of the parable, and answers the questions about who the parables are for and how to understand the mysteries. This section in Mark is verses 14 – 20.

Next will be Mysteries Revealed.

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One Response to “THE KEY PARABLE – The Parable of the Sower and the Seed”

  1. Jon Jav Says:

    I really like this sermon on this parable, it really help me understand the symbolism. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/10/press-on?lang=eng#6-

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