Bible Society of South Africa

The power of parables – 31 March 2022

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

The Parable of the Sower

4People kept coming to Jesus from one town after another; and when a great crowd gathered, Jesus told this parable:

5“Once there was a man who went out to sow corn. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it up. 6Some of it fell on rocky ground, and when the plants sprouted, they dried up because the soil had no moisture. 7Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up with the plants and choked them. 8And some seeds fell in good soil; the plants grew and produced corn, a hundred each.”

And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”

Luke 8:4-8GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus was the master storyteller, and he often taught in parables to avoid direct claims that his enemies could use against him. They tried to find ways to have him arrested and killed for claiming he was the Son of God, which he was. So he kept some things hidden till the time was right. (see Luke 9:21-22)

Jesus also used parables to explain the truth in a way that is hard to forget, once we understand. His parables bring pictures to our minds to help us understand the kingdom – and that prompts us to ask how we can live as God’s people.

The parable of the sower forces us to look at the condition of our own hearts. While we would like to think of ourselves as good soil, most of us know how the busyness of life, as well as the heartaches and fears we face, can choke and wither and snatch our faith away.

Yet Jesus reassures us with an amazing truth: good soil exists as well. It’s almost as if he points us to a patch of such soil amid the rocks and weeds of the world. Jesus’ challenge can also be a word of encouragement as we hear and respond to the story of salvation in Christ. In unexpected places, God can produce a bumper crop of righteousness. May all of our hearts be good soil, ready and willing to respond to God’s Word.

Prayer: Your parables, Lord Jesus, often give us a wake-up call. Guide our thoughts and actions each day, that we may live the best life possible, centred on your Word for living. Amen

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