PASTOR DON'S CHRISTIAN ED NOTES
The Parable of the Other Sower
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Sunday, September 8, 2013 -

THE PARABLE OF THE OTHER SOWER - Matthew 13:24-30 - “He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, [25] but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. [26] So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. [27] And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' [28] He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' [29] But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.' "

Matthew 13:36-43 - “Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." [37] He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, [39] and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. [40] Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, [42] and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

1) WE ARE NEVER TO FORGET THERE IS A SPIRITUAL AND PERSONAL MIND ORCHESTRATING OPPOSITION TO GOD’S WORK IN THIS WORLD

Matthew 13:24-25 - “He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, [25] but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.’”

Matthew 13:38-39 - “The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, [39] and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.”

The enemy - the devil - does everything in his power to prevent the root of God’s Word from taking hold in our hearts. We saw this clearly in the parable of the four soils. He steals the Word from the hard heart - the wayside soil. He promotes the kind of stubbornness under the surface of lives that won’t respond - won’t budge or change - like the rocks under the surface of the soil. He crowds the life with the thorns - the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, so the Word gets choked out in our hearts.

Now the sequence of this parable becomes important. Some seed falls upon good soil. The Word is embraced with understanding and affection. It is heard with obedience and trust. Room is made for the dominance of the Word in the heart, bringing fruitfulness and harvest unto eternal life. Then Jesus tells this parable about the work of the enemy after the good soil has made its response to the Word.
This parable deals in word pictures with a truth we have all experienced at some point in daily living. Why is there so much anger and opposition to the proclamation of the gospel and the Lordship of Jesus Christ in this world? Why is every religious leader tolerated except Jesus? Why do people embrace Jesus’ golden rule but reject Him as man’s only Savior? Why are there whole empires on God’s earth that forbid the gospel? What did Jesus do to deserve such treatment?

That’s what this parable is all about. Jesus says there is an enemy - verse 25 - “....but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.” Notice that it says “his enemy.” The enemy is not really that interested in you and me at all. He is God’s enemy.

2) THE PARABLE SHOWS THE NEED FOR BOTH PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING IN CHRIST’S CHURCH IF SHE IS TO ENDURE THE RACE UNTIL HE COMES AGAIN

The Jews, including the disciples, had certain expectations of the Messiah’s coming that led them to false understanding and false hopes as to what Jesus would do when He first came to establish His kingdom. You can partially understand their confusion. Perhaps they had heard John the Baptist thundering these words:

Matthew 3:1-3, 10-12 - “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, [2] ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ [3] For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'....[10] Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [11] I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. [12] His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

There - that’s what Jesus will do with His enemies. He will come with such blazing power and authority that He will crush all opposition. Finally, the King will rule with unchallenged authority. You can tell this was their expectation by some of their reactions. For example, look at what James and John said when the Samaritans refused to receive Jesus’ message:

Luke 9:51-56 - “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. [52] And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. [53] But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. [54] And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ [55] But he turned and rebuked them. [56] And they went on to another village.” That’s what the Messiah should do with these wicked people. Burn them up! Get the opposition out of the way. And the fact that Jesus didn’t do that gave birth to doubts as to His authenticity as the Coming One from God.

John the Baptist, so praised for his greatness by Jesus Himself, almost gave up on Jesus around this very issue:

Matthew 11:2-6 - “Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples [3] and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" [4] And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: [5] the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. [6] And blessed is the one who is not offended by me."

These words of John weren’t born out of fear, but rather, out of confusion and doubt. The Messiah was supposed to come and trample His enemies. Then why was John in prison? You’ve heard the same kind of question a thousand times - “Where is God when the world spits in His face? Why does so much wickedness, blasphemy and persecution go unchallenged? Jesus reminds His church that His is not the only kingdom being built in this world. Remember the presence of the enemy. See the root of the evil that pervades this present worldly scene. If you’re looking for these things to evaporate, you’re going to be frustrated and discouraged.