Parable of the Soils
Verse 1 – On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
Verse 2 – And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Verse 3 – Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to sow.
Jesus often used agricultural illustrations because the people understood it. So here we have a farmer, but the meaning is one who brings the Word of God.
Verse 4 – “And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
Keep in mind that the seed is the Word of God. Some of this seed fell outside of where the farmer had plowed and prepared the soil – deaf ears.
Verse 5 – “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
The roots couldn’t go down deep because there was no soil. they came to the surface quickly.
Verse 6 – “But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
The plants were young and too tender for the intense heat.
Verse 7 – “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
The thorns had not been completely destroyed when the soil had been prepared.
Verse 8 – “But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
When the seed was scattered, not all fell in the same proportions. Not all seeds will multiply, but some will.
Verse 9 – “He who has ear to hear, let him hear.”
Everyone has ears to hear with, so listen to what Jesus is saying.
Verse 10 – And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
Verse 11 – He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
The word “mystery” in the Bible, means to conceal. It does not mean that it could not be understood. The disciples were being prepared to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so things were revealed to them. Not everyone is called to preach or teach the gospel, but all Christians should be able to tell others about the love and forgiveness of Christ. The Pharisees and the Jews were not prepared to receive this new system, because of the hardening of their hearts.
Verse 12 – “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Please don’t take this verse out of context, as some like to do. Jesus is still talking about the mysteries of the kingdom being revealed to his disciples, not others. So to those who pursue light, grace, opportunists, understanding, and revelation, more will be given for the kingdom’s purpose, And to those who only hear the word and do not pursue it, even what they’ve heard will disappear, because they never sought understanding.
Verse 13 – “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Meaning – They did not understand the Spiritual meaning to the story. Even though they saw the miracles Jesus did, they had no other meaning, other than the person was healed. They had heard many of His teachings, but yet they still didn’t recognizance Jesus as the Messiah that had been foretold.
Verse 14 – “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive;
Verse 15 – For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them.’
These people were so grossly prejudiced against the “Truth,” that they rejected the understanding of the truth when they heard it. But if they would have listened with an open heart, Jesus would have healed them.
Verse 16 – “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
Verse 17 – “for assuredly, 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.
These disciples were living what the prophets of the Old Testament had prophesied about. They were taught by the Master Himself and were blessed because of it.
Verse 18 – “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
Verse 19 – “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
The gospel is preached to people whose hearts are hardened by sin. It makes no impression on them, never takes root.
Verse 20 – “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Verse 21 – “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
These people are full of zeal when they first hear the gospel. However, their hearts have not really changed, because when trials, testing, and persecution come, they fall back to what hey were before hearing the gospel. They have no principles or standards to keep them from stumbling, nothing to sustain them.
Verse 22 – “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
These cares take their time and attention. They are never satisfied. They never look at the spiritual side of things, only at what can be gained for prophet. What they pursue is never for the kingdom, always for self.
Verse 23 – “But he who received seed on good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
In a heart that submits itself to the full influence of truth, under grace, who doesn’t let anxieties of circumstances change who they are, the gospel will take a deep root and grow and benefit others.
People respond differently to the gospel because they are in different states of readiness. Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are contaminated by worries, they lack trust, and then some are receptive. Did you find yourself in any of these soils?
Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Verse 24 – Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
Verse 25 – “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
In the night, when no one will see, those who are used by Satan, will sow a false doctrine in the very place where the good doctrine was preached. Without a true love for God and a real hatred of sin in the heart, people are deceived into thinking they are born-again. There will be those who sit among the true believers that have been deceived into thinking they are truly saved – tares.
Verse 26 – “But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
Verse 27 – So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
Verse 28 – “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
Verse 29 – “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
The tares looked so much like the wheat that it would be difficult to separate them. Besides, that is not the job of the believer to determine who is saved and who is not saved.
Verse 30 – ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at that time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
Hypocrites and deceived people will be among true believers in every body of the church. They belong to the world, and hypocrisy is only one form of their sin. The hope of ever pointing them all out would be impossible. To reveal them would cause strife and hurt to the real believers. Christ Himself will expose them in due season.
Parable of the Mustard Seed
Verse 31 – Another parable He put forth to them saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
Verse 32 – “which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air comes and nest in its branches.”
The heart is at first small, feeble, easily injured, and much exposed. When the church first started, it was ignorant, unknowing, and un-honored; yet soon it spread throughout all the world and now is a place of refuse and comfort.
Parable of Leaven
Verse 33 – Another parable He spoke to them; “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.
Even though yeast is a very small ingredient to make a product swell, it goes through the whole loaf. The kingdom began small and was nearly invisible, but it would soon grow and have a great impact on the world (Zechariah 4:10).
Verse 34 – All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables and without a parable He did not speak to them,
Verse 35 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parable; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
Christ taught, as did the prophet Asaph, in parables. The parables revealed to His disciples truths that had not previously been understood.
Verse 36 – Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares in the field.”
Verse 37 – He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
Verse 38 – “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Verse 39 – “The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
Verse 40 – “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
Verse 41 – “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Verse 42 – “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Verse 43 – “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ear to hear, let him hear!
Jesus used these terms to refer to the coming judgment. The wailing will indicate great sorrow and remorse and the gnashing of teeth shows deep anguish and pain. Those that say they don’t care what happens to them after they die, have no idea how bad it’s going to be.
Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Verse 44 – “Again, the kingdom of haven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
The truth of the gospel often lies hidden to most. It must be searched out with diligence, and its discovery will repay a man for all his sacrifices.
Parable of the Pearl
Verse 45 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
Verse 46 – “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
We should not allow anyone or anything to keep us from obtaining the kingdom of heaven. Don’t get distracted or sidelined when seeking God.
Parable of the Dragnet
Verse 47 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,
Verse 48 – “which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and they sat down and gathered the good into the vessel, but threw the bad away.
Verse 49 – “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,
Verse 50 – “and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
This parable has the same meaning as the wheat and the tares. We are to obey and tell others about God’s goodness and grace, but we are not to dictate who is part of the kingdom of heaven and who is not. The separating will be done by the angels at the final judgment.
Parable of the Householder
Verse 51 – Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
Verse 52 – Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Jesus told His disciples that they were better qualified then the scribes and the Pharisees, to teach, because the Pharisees were trapped in the old, and blind to the new teachings of Jesus. A teacher of the gospel should be qualified to understand the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Verse 53 – Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there.
Rejection at Nazareth
Verse 54 – And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Verse 55 – “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
Verse 56 – “And His sisters are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”
Isn’t this the same attitude of people who have known a person all their life, to think that a person could not be more than their trade that they are recognized by? Jesus, to these people, was nothing more than a carpenter’s son.
Verse 57 – So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”
Verse 58 – And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
These people were envious of His wisdom and too proud to be taught by a carpenter’s Son. Someone’s unbelief will stop them from coming to Christ for salvation; unbelief will cause you to doubt God’s love and kindness; unbelief will stop a miracle dead in its tracks; and it’s unbelief that will send a person to hell for all eternity. So why not believe and receive?