The Parable of the Sower
Jesus has a crowd so he tells a story about a guy sowing some seeds. He explains what happens to seeds as they fell in different places.
Seeds that fell on the path were eaten by birds.
Seeds that were on rocks with little soil grew quickly but were scorched by the sun since they had a poor root system.
Seeds that fell near thorns were choked by the growing thorns.
Seeds that fell on good soil produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The Purpose of the Parables
Very confusing passage to me. I don't feel like I can really even give a proper summary as I don't really understand it. My best guess is he tells them there is a prophecy that those that hear don't hear and those that see don't see. This is fulfilled in their enemies but not his followers as they understand what they see and hear.
Is he basically saying he is talking in code so only his people understand?
The Parable of the Sower Explained
The sower is anyone preaching the word of God I guess. The various places the seed landed correspond to how the message was received.
If the word of God is not understood, that is the evil one snatching away what has been sown in his heart like the seed on the path.
I guess that's like me with the last section, damn you Satan.
The seed which has been sown on rock is like a person who takes the word of God immediately with joy but doesn't have roots in his own heart, any hardship rips it away.
The thorns are like people who instead focus on the riches of the world instead of the word of God.
The good soil is obviously listening to the word and really taking it in and understanding it.
The Parable of the Weeds
Another parable. A man sows good seeds in his field, and while he is sleeping an enemy sows weeds along with the good seeds. The man's servants ask if they should get the weeds out and he says not to, you might get out the wheat as well. Let them grow and at harvest time we will differentiate them.
Live in peace and let God sort out the details after you die.
The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, even though it is smaller than all of the other seeds, it grows bigger.
It actually says "it is the smallest seed". I've heard that this is actually false and God, being all knowing, should not have made this mistake. I suppose one could counter by saying it is the smallest in the field in this story. Or perhaps it is the smallest that the group of people listening would know.
"The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened"
What is the lesson here? The kingdom of heaven can spread if it is kept secret?
Prophecy and Parables
Jesus only spoke to this crowd in parables to fulfill a prophecy.
So did Jesus do it for the express purpose of fulfilling a prophecy, or was it what he wanted to do and it happened to fulfill a prophecy? Because if you do something with the intention of fulfilling a prophecy it losing it's meaning. Is it fulfilling a prophecy when my waiter brings me what I ordered?
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
Jesus says he is the one sowing the good seeds, the field is the world, the weeds are the sons of the evil one and the sower of them is the devil.
Is the devil and "the evil one" not the same?
The harvest is the close of the age. The righteous will go to heaven and the rest will go to the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure a man found in a field and the covered up. He then sells everything he owns to buy the field.
That seems like a shady thing to do. Not that I can say for sure I would never do such a thing, but I'd feel bad about it.
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl merchant finding one of great value and selling everything he has in order to buy it.
This seems more legitimate to me.
The Parable of the Net
The kingdom of heaven is like a fishing net which catches all kinds of things and the fisherman have to sort the good from the bad. In the same way, at the end of the age the angels will separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace.
More talk of throwing people into hell
New and Old Treasures
"Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old"
It sounds to me like he is saying the old testament is as important as the new testament. Any other interpretation?
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
Jesus goes back to his hometown and teaches his parables there. People are amazed at his wisdom and can't believe he was a carpenter's son. They took offense at him. He said he does not do works there because of their unbelief.
Much like the sermon on the mount, I don't see what everyone is so amazed by. It seems like a mixed bag to me, some of what he says is good, some is bad. Maybe there is some kind of historical perspective I am missing.
Honestly, this reminds me of poorly written movies, where a character is supposed to have some trait and the other characters just react as if it was the case. A good example is the attractive girl who is a bit nerdy (but still hot) and everyone treats her as if she is ugly until her transformation half way through the movie. Or the guy who is supposed to be charming but the actor can't pull it off so they just have the women swoon around him constantly.