Confessions of a Questioning Christian

Posts Tagged ‘parables

The Parable of the Sower

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”

Dang, I must not have ears. Did people talk like this back then? Let’s get a translation up in huurrr.

In each case the seed is the same but the receptivity of the soil is different. The parable makes plain that in this present age there will not be universal reception of divine truth. And if the decline of the numbers regarding fruitfulness has any significance, the effect of the Word weakens as this age waxes older (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; Rev. 3:14-19). (biblicist)

Some seeds represent people who hear the truth but can’t understand it; some represent people who get excited about the Gospel but give up on it when life gets hard; some represent people who would rather love the things of this world than the Gospel. Okay. That makes way more sense to me.

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

I don’t get it. They don’t understand him so he’s making it harder for them to understand?

The reason Jesus told the parables was to hide the truth from those with hard hearts who did not want to hear the truth and did not want Jesus as their Messiah. They were looking for a different type of Messiah. They wanted one who would come in and defeat their earthly enemies right then.

But while He was hiding the truth from the hard hearted, he was also revealing truth to those who had open hearts and were willing to accept the truth, even if it was not what they expected.

What did the prophets and righteous men not see nor hear that the disciples were hearing about and soon to see? (Matt 13:17) The interadvent age. In OT Israel there was the present age and the age to come. The age to come was the kingdom where the Messiah would rule. What the prophets and righteous men did not see or hear about was the church age. They only saw one coming of the Messiah in the OT. They didn’t see him coming to die the first time, and returning later to judge. (Isa 61:1-2)

What Jesus is doing is revealing truth about the interadvent age – the church age – a mystery form of the kingdom. Matt 13:12 says, “what they have shall be taken away…” What is it that they don’t have? Spiritual insight. What will be taken away? Their responsibility. Because they rejected Jesus, their responsibility to reach the world – bless the world would be taken from them and given to others – the church. (

THANK YOU. Makes way more sense. I’m glad people have studied this to help the rest of us out.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it,the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b]22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word andunderstands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one casea hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Oh, NOW he tells me.

The Parable of the Weeds

24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[c] among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[d] of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

So humans, both good and bad, grow up on this earth together, and the bad might overtake some of the good, but the good that survive to the end will be saved…?

Jesus identifies the field as the world; the sower as Himself, the “Son of Man;” the enemy as the devil; the good seed as the “sons of the kingdom;” the tares as the “sons of the evil one;” the reapers as angels; and the time of harvest being the end of the age. This parable reveals that in this present age both “wheat” and “tares” are allowed to grow together (often to the untrained eye, indistinguishably). That is, believers and unbelievers will together progress and will not be separated until the end of the age. At that time the “wheat” is gathered into the barn and the “tares” bundled up and burned. (biblicist)

Yep, got it. I think.

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

However, this present age along with the professing church is permeated with false doctrine and unbelief manifested by various forms of wickedness and worldliness. The introduction of “leaven,” representing outward profession rather than true inward faith, actually makes the church appear much larger than what it actually is. (biblicist)
Ah, okay.
Prophecy and Parables

34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:[e]   “I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

We covered this, I think.

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

A lot of people have used this explanation to “prove” the rapture. I am not convinced. I also have heard that the weeds represent unbelieving people, but this translation at least says they will take the sons of the evil one. Couldn’t that be any of the things that cause us to stumble and sin; whether that’s cynicism or just bring brought up in a part of the world where this information doesn’t show up or doesn’t compute…? I guess the truth is that I hate the idea of hell, especially considering that most of what I know about hell seems like far-reaching translations. I can understand Jesus wanting to remove anything bad from the earth before the new kingdom comes, but I don’t know how that would require punishing people who have never been able to understand God. It doesn’t seem loving at all. Anyway, my rant. I love Jesus, and I believe in him… but I don’t have to believe in a specific/popular depiction of hell.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

These makes sense to me. Totally. When you find something that’s priceless, you will do anything to get it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I don’t know why, but this only makes me sad. It’s good for the people who were fortunate to find faith, but faith is so difficult for some people. I know lots of people that want to believe, but they can’t. How is that their fault? We are rational creatures, and if anything I see the church getting in between them and Jesus (I guess that’s possibly the blasphemy of the spirit?). But why should they be punished?

New and Old Treasures

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore 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.”

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

I don’t really understand why they got so indignant. But again, if Jesus doesn’t find faith, he will not give it to them. I guess that might explain my bitterness from before – faith HAS to come before the works.  Hmmm…