The Parable Of The Sower Literature Review Sample
Before Jesus told of this parable, he had performed many miracles and had given explanations to his disciples that Satan could not perform them. He had already begun his three-year ministry and this parable comes after he had already sent out his twelve disciples. He was already deep in his ministry and had already started to speak of the response the people had of the gospel he had come to spread. What he claims is in the immediate context of the rejection by the scribes and even his family. To the disciples, it is obvious that the Messiah does not have a popular message to their people. It is here that the Messiah speaks clearly in a tongue that they all understand what his message is doing to the people. Jesus is well aware of not only his death, but the participation he has in the fulfillment of the Old Testament(Helsel 487).
In the Gospels of Mathew and Mark, Jesus uses the boat as a vantage point to address the large crowd that amassed to listen to him. Most if not all narratives that Jesus gives in the two gospels, the boat is the stage. This is different in the gospel of Luke where he does not mention the boat as a vantage point. However, Jesus is still able to present to a large crowd which he says is made up of people from every city. He explains to them the purpose and meaning of the parable of the sower. The synoptic gospels also go ahead to mention that he quoted from the book of Isaiah 6:9-10 which describes the people’s inadequacies when it came to the hearing of the gospel. It claims that the people will indeed hear but in the same case will not understand what they are listening to. Some will see but the perception of what they have seen will lack. The quote from the book of Isaiah goes ahead to describe the people as people who are hard of hearing and were incapable of seeing(Joe 412).
For a better understanding of the parable, it is imperative that we understand that the parable of the sower is a foundation parable. It is a parable that forms the basis of the understanding of what Jesus meant for the Israelites to listen to and understand. In the gospel of Mark 4.13, Jesus asks the people how they were going to understand the rest of the parables if they failed to understand the parable of the sower. In all the synoptic gospels where this parable is found it is always the first to be narrated. As the first parable in the synoptic gospels, it forms the basis of understanding the other parables. To further this argument, the parable of the sower is among the only two parables in the bible for which Jesus provides meaning for after the narration. The other parable was that of the weeds. This shows exactly how precious this meaning was. The meaning was meant not only for us to understand it but also as a key to interpret and understand all the other parables(Texter 459).
Secondly, the four types of soil upon which the sower cast the seeds should be our next concern. The aspect of a peasant farmer going out to sow his seed was a familiar sight to the audience as it was planting season. It was, therefore, an immediate reference so that people could understand the parable(Joe 418). The seeds cast out were representative of the word of God. It was God’s message to the Israelites and the good news proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven. Association of the word of God with the seeds accentuates clearly the idea that the message, just like the seed, resulted in the birth of new life. The message held the power to transform someone completely so that he or she became a new creature in the eyes of God. Jesus was the farmer and the propagator of the gospel.
Once cast out into the field, the seeds were prone to several things that could affect it. Those that fell over hard ground where people used as a pathway were unable to enter the ground and the birds simply picked them off. These seeds were lost almost immediately they were cast off. This is representative of those fail to understand the message. They fail to understand because they have hard hearts and hence, is no believer. Satan snatches him or her away before he believes limiting the chances of saving him. There is a notable difference between the first and the final type of soil which implies that the aspect of understanding that Jesus meant was to be saved. On the final type of soil where the seeds fell, it was rich and allowed the seeds to grow well. It is transformed and has a new life implying that it was saved unlike on the other soils, they could not make it. In a nutshell, Jesus was indeed giving us the requisites for us to be saved. All it takes is for us to believe in the word of God and giving it the chance to transform us into new beings before the eyes of the Lord(Texter 461).
The parable clearly shows us that we are to expect different reactions in the ministry when spreading the gospel because it will have different effects on the people. In today’s world, churches have taken up business models in their operations, people heaping up altar calls each week and so on. What we should understand is that none of these will add anything to the works of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we should realize that there will always be those who will mock us and persecute us just as the seeds on the path. It is a fruitless endeavor to engage these people in political actions and debates trying to change their moral stands. Jesus never pleaded with anyone to take up and believe in the gospel but rather, those who believed in it accepted him and followed him.
This parable also alerts us to notice that there will be those who call themselves Christians but are just nominal Christians. The word has not born any fruit in them or was once there and died by pollution from evil minds. The church should not go hunting for these type of Christians but rather, it is a call to understand just as Jesus did that in the ministry, there are believers that will fall during the ministry. Like the seeds that fell on stony grounds. They started growing but due to lack of water, they dried up and died. Similarly, those that will get the word and do not have a means to replenish that new life that the word of God is giving are more likely to fall.
Helsel, P. "A Life with Roots: Narrative Pastoral Care and Communities of Identity in the Parable of the 'Good Soil'." Pastoral Psychology 61.4 (2012): 485-498.
Jos, Philip H. "Fear and the Spiritual Realism of Octavia Butler's Earthseed." Utopian Studies 23.2 (2012): 408-429.
Texter, Douglas W. "Of Gifted Children and Gated Communities: Paul Theroux's O-Zone and Octavia Butler's the Parable of the Sower." Utopian Studies 19.3 (2008): 457-484.
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