Listen Up!

The little word, “Behold!” tells us to stop what we are doing and pay attention. At the end of this parable, Jesus emphasized the importance of what He had just said: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” But why? In Jesus’ time, a man going forth with seed to sow would have been a common sight. Why should we take note of such an ordinary event? Why should we hear and ponder the story Jesus has told? There are several reasons: - This story is not mainly a tale about a farmer. Jesus later explains that the “seed” is the word of God, the message of the kingdom, the Gospel (13:19). He is talking about the truth which saves (Ephesians 1:13). - In context, the sower is Jesus, the Preacher par excellence. Ever since the beginning of His ministry He has been addressing to large crowds (4:25; 5:1;12:23; 12:23) in open fields, synagogues, and private homes. It’s a story about our Lord. - By implication, the sower also represents all the followers of Jesus who will “go and make disciples of all nations” (24:19), preaching this gospel of the kingdom “in all the world” (24:14). - Like Jesus Himself, all those who spread the Good News will meet with varying types of response, from incomprehension (13:19) to superficial reception (13:20-22) to real conversion (13:23). In other words, this little story is talking about everyone who heralds or hears the word of God. That’s us! - The way we listen to this parable will determine the value – what Jesus calls “fruit” – of our entire life (13:19-23). The stakes are enormous. - Furthermore, understanding this short parable of the sower and the four soils provides the key to “all the parables” Jesus told (Mark 4:13). So let us ponder the parable of the sower and the soils (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) with fresh focus.