Matt 13:1-23 Parable of the Soils

Nov 1, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

A parable found in

Mark 4

Luke 8

Matt 13 (lets focus on the one in Matthew)

1 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.

2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;

the sower or  a sower (not sowers hired by the farmer)  we are talking about one farmer here

4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.

5 “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.

6 “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.

8 “And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

9 “He who has ears, let him hear.”

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

12 “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.

13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14 “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 

‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; 

YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;

15 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 I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

Paul seems to be quoting this passage from isaiah as well in Acts 28:26-27

Isaiah 6:9-10 (right after the angel touches a coal to Isaiah’s lips to cleanse them)

evidently someone can have ears and not hear (and eyes to see with, seeing yet not see)

16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

blessed   μακάριος, makarios, a.  [3420]. blessed (receiving God’s favor), fortunate, good (in a position of favor), happy (feelings associated with receiving God’s favor)

reminding us that God provides the hearing and the seeing

only those whom God wants to understand will actually understand truth.

17 “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

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 the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

hard packed ground (water runs off it, seeds bounce off it)

prideful / arrogant person

the next two soil types both give the seed a place to sprout but nothing else

(there is no care given to the seed)

20 “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

soil is full of rocks, shallow soil prevents roots from attaining any depth

(6 “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.)

shallow listener (amens during the sermon, does nothing with the information)

22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

sprouting seed has too much competition with other things being allowed to grow along side it

(distracted is a nice way to put it, wasteful is a better way to put it)

23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Here is the soil everyone likes to talk about !   “that’s me, I’m the soil that helped the seed bear fruit”

what makes this fourth soil good ?

(it doesn’t have the qualities of the first three)

nothing wrong with the seed (same seed on all four soils)

condition of the soil determines the result

not packed down hard = prideful (James 4:6-7)

rocks have been carefully removed = obstacles taken out (2 Cor 10:3-5)

not filled with weeds = distractions removed (2 Tim 2:4 soldier not entangling himself)(1 Cor 9:24-27 runner keeping himself from being distracted by anything but running the race well)

Now that we’ve talked about the four soil types…

This is not so much a parable about evangelism as much as it is about where a seed can grow

The seed represents the Word of God

it is given in seed form (only grows once certain conditions are met)

Sermon is a seed, message is a seed, reading your bible is receiving a seed

it grows when the hearer takes it in and does something with it

how many farmers ?

who does the farmer represent ?

who is the parable directed towards ?

what is this parable about ?

when there are  comparisons of different situations in one parable, those differences are the focus of the lesson to be learned

same sower

same seed

is this parable about seed or soil ?

if you look at the seed as the gospel message with the power to see someone born-again, then this is a parable of evangelism (and the four soils represent four different types of people

but if we look at the seed as all of the word of God, then the soils represent the believers response to the Word in different moments, circumstances …

back in verse 4, the seed fell beside the road

road 

 ὁδός, hodos, road, path, a general term for a thoroughfare to get from one place to another; by extension: way, manner of life; “the Way” is a term for the Christian lifestyle (Ac 9:2; 19:9)

Road: This word is never used in Scripture in the sense of a literal road but more of a direction of travel, or a method of living

Acts 9:2 and asked for aletters from him to bthe synagogues at cDamascus, so that if he found any belonging to dthe Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Matt. 6:9 ¶ “aPray, then, in this way: 

‘Our Father who is in heaven, 

Hallowed be Your name.

John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am athe way, and bthe truth, and cthe life; no one comes to the Father but through Me

What if these four soil types can exist in the one heart of the believer ?

This parable (spoken to believers) become an admonition to make sure our hearts are prepared for all of His truth all the time

Rom 12:2 along with 

not packed down hard = prideful (James 4:6-7)

rocks have been carefully removed = obstacles taken out (2 Cor 10:3-5)

not filled with weeds = distractions removed (2 Tim 2:4 soldier not entangling himself)(1 Cor 9:24-27 runner keeping himself from being distracted by anything but running the race well)

remember our Spirit is born again

our soul is slowly being transformed day by day

(the hearer must of course have the blessing of God to understand it’s meaning

once that is set

the hearer must ensure it does not

  1. land on hard soil of pride or arrogance
  2. land in rocky soil of unsubmitted areas of sin
  3. be crowded out by competitive priorities and cares (distractions)

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