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14. How is a Parable Defined?

Updated: Feb 13

Some believe Jesus was attempting to hide the truth from those who were out to condemn, trap, and kill him. Not so! Jesus was wrapping the truth (heavenly meaning) in an earthy story. Whereby, those who wanted to harm Jesus saw his stories as nothing more than stories, having no importance. But to a genuine believer and follower, these stories revealed something about heaven as the Parable of the Sower did.


Matthew 13:1 KJV starts out by telling us of a "great multitude that had gathered unto him." So much so, that he preached his message from a boat, as the people listened on the shore.

Jesus begins by telling us about a sower or farmer who was casting seeds unto a field. A practice many in Jesus' day would have understood, just as we would today. Farming is not all that different from today as it was in Jesus' day. It is still all about spreading the seeds throughout a field; just as Christians too, spread the Word of God throughout the world.

Notice, some fell by the wayside, while others fell on stony places, and still others among the thorns. Each place is very much like the places in which the gospel is spread throughout the world today. Jesus is the sower, sowing the seed, and the soil represents those receiving God's Word/Truth.

The first seeds fell by the wayside and were devoured by the fowl (representing the devil) of the air. The word of God fell on places well traveled, but vulnerable to attacks by the fowl/devil who came and took away the Word of God through error, deception, and lies. The individuals receiving the Word of God allowed the world, flesh, and devil to deceive them. The same way the serpent deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We need to study the Word of God to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim 2:15 KJV), knowing the truth. Otherwise, the devil will come and deceive men and we shall remain lost.

The second place the seed fell was on stony ground. When the SUN came out "the Truth of God's Word was scorched," having no lasting effect because the gospel "had no root" in the lives of those who received it. Much the same way, the word of God will not thrive in a person whose heart has become hardened by the flesh, world, and devil. They were led astray by paganistic practices and the worship of idols such as the SUN within the church/believers. These folks, dismissed the truth for an excuse, desiring to follow a lie. Thus, the gospel could not take root in a person's heart, so it withered away. And the devil came in as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour! This place became easy pickings for the devil, because God's word was not found in the lives of those who first heard, saw, and read God's word.

The third type of soil where the seed fell is that of thorns that grew in the soil. Whereby, weeds and other foreign messages, lifestyles, and earthy, pleasures crowded out God's word in the life of the individual. The thorns grew alongside the seed sown by the Sower. Life is filled with plenty of weeds and thorns, choking out that which is good - God's Word. Our occupations, academic pursuits, and earthy, relationships seem to always take the place of God. God is no longer the first in our life! Practices such as reading God's word, praying as a family, and worship were not important. Believers need God, his examples, and commandments. It becomes easy to see why, this seed does not take root and the Pharisees and people in Jesus day had become hostile and unwilling to receive the gospel.

IS THERE ANY HOPE? Yes! Some seeds fell on good ground. Soil that is fertile, weed free, and escapes the devil's grasp. This seed landed on those who have ears to hear. Those who treasure the truth and keep the commandments of God. People that are willing to serve, follow, and obey. Not by force, deception, or lies as the devil will attempt to do, but freely, willingly, and joyfully. God, through Jesus Christ, offers fallen men everywhere life; an abundant life. Free from pain and suffering so pervasive in this world. All we have to do is accept God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. There the truth shall set us free!

Interestingly, only one quarter of the seeds sown were received. The remainder, were devoured, deceived, or choked out by the flesh, world, and/or devil. Despite this, we are told the seed that fell on good soil reproduced a yield one-hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. God's word, the truth shall prevail. Why?

So that we might know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven in the giving of Jesus' parables. Is your heart desiring to know, see, and hear? Will you accept and walk in the light? It is my prayer, that you will take the time to ask Jesus into your heart and begin to know the deep things of God.

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