The paragraph/section titles in our Bibles are not in the original text. They were added later to help us more quickly find and identify various passages. Very often these titles are helpful. But the title given to this Sunday’s text has always puzzled me. The parable we call “The Parable of the Sower” is not primarily about the sower. I say primarily because there is a message to the sower. But the message to the sower is about the soils! So, it would be more apt to title this parable, “The Parable of the Soils.”
Jesus told this parable to correct a false expectation that his followers had about how Jesus, as the Messiah, would impact their world and what it would be like for his followers in this world. Even though we here in the U.S.A. today are not longing for a Messiah to free us from the rule of a foreign oppressor, we too can fall prey to the same false expectation. We too can expect that, as Christians, our values, our “way,” our thinking, and our goals and values will be embraced and supported by the majority. But the Bible, including the Parable of the Soils, warns us that this is not the way, and this is not what we will experience.
Take some time to read and reflect on Mathew 13:1-9 & 18-23. This Summer we are focusing on this special group of parables that Jesus told to disrupt and re-orientate his followers. We jumped ahead a little last week with the Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven; this week we go back to the beginning. So, take some time to reflect and meditate on the Parable of the Soils and the context that it is spoken into (see the previous chapter). Yes, we have Jesus’ explanation of what corresponds to what in this parable, but ask yourself, “What was the main point of this parable?” “What is Jesus actually saying?” It is imperative that we grasp that so we can consider the implication and application for us today as followers of Christ in a broken and sin-stained world.
Yours in Christ’s love,