Matthew 13:18-23 Jesus Explains Confusing Stuff

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Jesus Explains Confusing Stuff

Jesus, you explained things to those who came to you and asked.   In James, it says that those who lack wisdom should ask of God.  This, in turn, helps them to persevere.  I am personally a bit frustrated that our house is not sold yet.  Are we meant to move?  Are we meant to understand anything?  I know that biblical truths that seemed obscure to me became real as I read commentaries, took a Bible degree, and studied at church.  I am confident that God comes through with understanding in those cases.  Sometimes with issues from the Bible I have submitted to the idea that it is a mystery like ‘baptism for the dead’.  However, Jesus, if my own life is a parable I would like more explanation.  Ha.  Writing that, I see now how my life as a parable has worked.

You allowed anxiety and depression in my life so that I could see my perception of powerlessness with regard to others.  As I read books, studied scripture and pressed in, you showed me how to release anxiety and move away from depression.  As I kept walking with you, you showed me that being open about real struggles would help those around me to be open and to grow.  Most recently you have shown me what it means to be triggered and how sin works in our brain to make us convinced that others are in the wrong.  We develop frustration and, worst of all, contempt.  These ‘secrets’ have been explained as I have come to you for an explanation of what is going on.

Questions

  1. What does Jesus say each soil represents?
  2. Who gets to understand what the sower story is about?
  3. How does this parable desribe those who receive a parable?
  4. What confusing life circumstances has God allowed in your life?
  5. How do you make sense of confusing Bible passages, life circumstances, and deep questions?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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