Yeshua Explains the Parable of the Four Soils

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Understand the Parables of the Kingdom

In my last post, we learned why Yeshua spoke in parables.  In this post, we will explore His explanation of the parable of the four soils.

“So listen to what the parable of the sower means.  Whoever hears the message about the Kingdom, but doesn’t understand it, is like the seed sown along the path – the Evil One comes and seizes what was sown in His heart.  The seed sown on rocky ground is like a person who hears the message and accepts it with joy at once, but has no root in himself. So He stays on for a while; but as soon as some trouble or persecution arises on account of the message, He immediately falls away.  Now the seed sown among thorns stands for someone who hears the message, but it is choked by the worries of the world and the deceitful glamor of wealth, so that it produces nothing.  However, what was sown on rich soil is the one who hears the message and understands it; such a person will surely bear fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown.” ~ Matthew 13:18-23

What the Parable of the Four Soils (or the Sower) Means

The sower was Yeshua and, by extension, anyone after Him who would teach and preach the Word (represented by the seed).  Yeshua was telling the parable and exemplifying it; as He spoke of the farmer sowing the seed, He was sowing the Word among the crowd of followers.  Yeshua was revealing His mission while teaching the emissaries and talmidim about theirs.  The parable revealed people’s varying responses to the Gospel message.  The attitude or condition of their hearts would govern their response.  The Word makes no impression on some people.  For those who hear and do not understand, the seed lands on a hard heart (like the hardened soil of the path).  Then Satan, like the birds of verse 4 snatches it away. Perhaps the person feels no need in his or her heart, no desire for anything other than this life, no guilt of sin or need of forgiveness.  Satan has no trouble with these people. Continue reading “Yeshua Explains the Parable of the Four Soils”

Yeshua Explains Why He Speaks in Parables

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Understand the Parables of the Kingdom

In my last post, we learned about the parable of the four soils.  In this post, Yeshua explains why He speaks in parables.

“Then the talmidim came and asked Yeshua, ‘Why are you speaking to them in parables?’  He answered, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to them.  For anyone who has something will be given more, so that He will have plenty; but from anyone who has nothing, even what He does have will be taken away. Here is why I speak to them in parables: they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.  That is, in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yesha‘yahu which says, ‘You will keep on hearing but never understand, and keep on seeing but never perceive, because the heart of this people has become dull – with their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, so as not to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and do t’shuvah, so that I could heal them.’  But you, how blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear! Yes indeed! I tell you that many a prophet and many a tzaddik longed to see the things you are seeing but did not see them, and to hear the things you are hearing but did not hear them.’” ~  Matthew 13:10-17

 Yeshua Explains Why He Speaks in Parables

When Yeshua got away from the crowd and was alone with His true followers (the twelve emissaries and the larger group of Believers from whom the Twelve had been chosen), a more intimate question-and-answer period followed.  Perhaps these close followers did not want to reveal their ignorance about Yeshua’s words in front of the entire crowd.  More likely, they were noticing that many people in the crowd were not understanding Yeshua’s message.  So, when they were alone with Yeshua, His followers asked Him why He spoke to the people in parables, in stories that seemed to confuse His listeners and obscure the message.

Remember the purpose for using parables was to get people to think.
Continue reading “Yeshua Explains Why He Speaks in Parables”

The Parable of the Four Soils

To Be Like Yeshua Means – To Understand the Parables of the Kingdom

We have spent a good deal of time in the Gospel of Matthew sitting at the feet of Yeshua to learn directly from Him what it means to be His talmidim.   We have learned that we have to serve and affirm others.  In this post, we will continue to learn about the Christian Torah as we explore To Be like Yeshua Means to Understand the Parables of the Kingdom.

Yeshua captivated His listeners by presenting the truth in terms that they could understand.  In Matthew 13 we find no less than eight different images from the work world.  Clearly, Yeshua knew how to relate to the world in which everyday people lived and worked.  Using parables, Yeshua frequently spoke about the nature of His Kingdom.

Our Lord’s use of parables puzzled the disciples.  He had used some parables in His teaching already, but on the day long ago that we will spend the next several weeks exploring, He gave a series of seven interrelated parables, then added an eighth.  The word parable means “to cast alongside.”  It is a story, or comparison, that is put alongside something else to help make the lesson clear.  But these are not ordinary parables; Yeshua called them “secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 13:11).  In this series of parables, Yeshua explained the course of the Gospel in the world.  If Israel had received Him as King, the blessings would have flowed out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.  But the nation rejected Him, and God had to institute a new program on earth.  During this present age, “the kingdom of heaven” is a mixture of true and false, good and bad, as pictured in these parables.

Why did Yeshua teach in parables? Two reasons were given: because of the sluggishness of the people (Matthew13:10-17); and because it was prophesied in Psalm 78:2 (Matthew 13:34-35).  Yeshua did not teach in parables to confuse or condemn the people.  Rather, He sought to excite their interest and arouse their curiosity.  These parables would give light to those with trusting and searching hearts.  But they would bring darkness to the unconcerned and unrepentant.

We learn at the end of chapter 12 that Yeshua left the synagogue and began to teach outdoors.  He left those opposed to him and reached out to the responsive people.  Yeshua had already made unmistakable claims about his true identity, and there was increasing division between those who accepted and those who rejected.  The religious leaders had already decided that Yeshua was not the Messiah.  The crowds who followed Yeshua, listening to his teaching and observing his miracles, wondered if this could be the “Son of David” (12:23), but their leaders told them he was not.  So “that same day” (13:1), Yeshua began teaching a series of parables about the kingdom of heaven.

“That same day, Yeshua went out of the house and sat down by the lake; but such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there while the crowd stood on the shore.  He told them many things in parables: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he sowed, some seed fell alongside the path; and the birds came and ate it up.  Other seed fell on rocky patches where there was not much soil. It sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow; but when the sun had risen, the young plants were scorched; and since their roots were not deep, they dried up.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  But others fell into rich soil and produced grain, a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as had been sown.  Those who have ears, let them hear!’” ~ Matthew 13:1-9

Continue reading “The Parable of the Four Soils”