Harmony of the Key Parable

A harmony is the combining of all of the elements of parallel texts to make sure that everything that is said in each one is included in the harmony. What you will get is a complete picture of what Jesus said to the crowd and to His disciples and what He is saying to us today.

A wonderful way to more fully understand what you have just learned would be to write out each section of the parable with only one reference to the passages that are in harmony while underlining those passages that are unique to one account thus combining all three texts into one.

A Harmony of The Introduction:

That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him.

And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land.

He spoke by way of a parable, and was teaching them many things in parables.

A Harmony of Seed sown on Soil Beside The Road

And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds came and ate them up.

“Hear then the parable of the sower is this: the seed is the word of the kingdom of God. These are the ones who are beside the road where the seed is sown who have heard and does not understand it; the devil, Satan, immediately comes and snatches away the word that has been sown in their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.

A Harmony of Seed sown on Soil in Rocky Places

“Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, it was scorched because it had no moisture; and because they had no root, they withered away.

In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rock places, are those who, when they hear the word, immediately receives the word with joy; they had no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then they believe for a while, and in time or temptation or when affliction or persecution arises because of the word and in time of temptation, immediately they fall away.

A Harmony of Seed Sown on Soil Within Thorns

“Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out, and it yielded no crop.”

“And others on whom seed was sown among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard the word, and as they go on their way, they are choked with the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the pleasures of this life and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and bring no fruit to maturity.”

A Harmony of Seed Sown in Soil that is Good

Other seed fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop a hundred times as great, some sixty, and some thirty.

And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; this is the man who hears the word and understands it and accepts it in an honest and good heart, and holds it fast; who indeed bears fruit with perseverance, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

A Harmony of The Mysteries or The Intermission

Matthew 13: 8-17, Mark 4:8-17, Luke 8: 8b-10

As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, His disciples, began questioning Him as to what this parable meant, and came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

Jesus answered and He said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest who are on the outside it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not hear and understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘you will keep on hearing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return and be forgiven and I would heal them.’

But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”


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