It isn’t “The Parable of the Soils” in Mt 13:1-23, but The Parable of the Sower, as Jesus himself called it (v18). The importance of this title is to show that it was Christ's word, or the gospel, that is sown and that it is His intention to sow seed on the soil (people) who will not believe, as well as on those who would. Jesus is unambiguous. He clarifies that the gospel is able to be understood by a subset of those who hear (“to you it has been granted,” v11), “but to them [the rest] it has not been granted.” This surely had a special impact meant for the Jewish audience, as we see by reading Christ’s long quote from Isaiah 6 when He explains the parable to his followers.
The evangelism/missions cause can never be thwarted by the unbelief of the masses who will “keep on hearing but will not understand,” any more than Jesus’ own earthly evangelism was hindered by it. It has always been part of the plan that people will not understand. If a missionary hacks his way through jungle and finds no reception in some villages, it isn’t defeat.
There is amazing hope in sharing the “word” called the gospel. It will, by God’s design, fall on good soil as well as poor soil. And the return for the investment for sowing will be multiple times what was invested, yielding a crop “a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty.” In other words, fewer people being converted by the gospel does not at all cut down the growth of the kingdom, but these fewer people multiply the crop of the kingdom many times over.
Jesus’ message was not received but by a few in his lifetime. Yet, he was not discouraged. He knew the plan. And you do too.
Copyright © Jim Elliff.
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