Interrogation 16-07-2023

Sunday, 2 July 2023

1:49 PM 

Gospel reading for this Sunday

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23



The Parable of the Sower


NRSV version


The Parable of the Sower

13That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!’




18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’


Gospel for Hearers version


1 That same day Jesus left the house and sat down by the sea.

And a large crowd gathered around him,

so that he got into a boat and sat there

while all the crowd stood on the shore.


3 He was telling them many things in parables.

"See, this sower went out to sow

and while he was sowing,

some seed fell beside the path and the birds came and ate it up.

Other seed fell on stony ground where it did not have much soil,

so it immediately sent up shoots

because there was no depth of soil;

then the sun came up and it was burnt,

and, because it had no roots, it was dried up.

Other seed fell among thornbush

and the thorns grew up and choked it.

And other seed fell on good soil and it produced grain -

some a hundred, some sixty and some thirty.

Let the one who has ears hear."


3 You, therefore, listen to the parable of the sower: -

from everyone who hears the message of the kingdom

without understanding,

the evil one comes and snatches the seed

which has been sown in their heart;

this is the seed sown along the pathway.

As for the seed sown in stony ground,

it is the one who hears the Word

and immediately welcomes it with joy;

but he has no root system in himself.

He is only a good-time hearer,

and when bad times or persecution because of the Word arise,

he is immediately offended.


22 Then the seed sown among thorns -

this is the one who hears the Word

and worldly worries and the seduction of wealth choke the Word

and it produces no fruit.

And there's the seed sown on the good soil,

those who hear and understand the Word,

and produce a harvest, a hundred - or sixty - or thirty-strong.


From “The Gospel of Matthew”, in The Gospel for Hearers (Translated from the Koine Greek by Elizabeth B. Edwards, Formatted by the Rev William A. Johnston), 2013, Diangellia Press.


Robot comment


What are the serious issues raised by this passage?

(An AI robot's response: Note that the robot here provides opinion, not fact and should not be taken as authoratative)


The parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 is a story about a farmer who sows seeds on different types of soil. The seeds that fall on the path are eaten by birds, those that fall on rocky ground sprout but wither away because they have no roots, those that fall among thorns are choked by the thorns and those that fall on good soil grow and produce fruit. Jesus explains that the seed represents the word of God and the different types of soil represent different responses to it. The parable raises issues about how people respond to God’s word and how it affects their lives


From <,noheader,channelstable,&shellsig=c2b315267f979212792308674104df3567572c3d&setlang=en-US&lightschemeovr=1>


Some questions raised by the text:

  • Who is Jesus talking to?
  • Who was the evangelist talking to?
  • Perhaps this parable suffers from being too familiar. We've heard it all before.  How do we revisit something so familiar, and how do we extract a meaning for our own lives?
  • Is this a description of different sorts of people -- some who are able to "get it", and some who miss the point, or is it an exploration of our essential human nature -- we all have the capacity to open ourselves to truth, but sometimes betray our better selves.
  • Are we at risk of self-congratulation? "Look at me and what I have achieved".
  • Are we at risk of false humility? "Look at me and see what a mess I have made of my life".
  • Where is God in all of this? Is God a careless farmer who does not know where to throw his seed, or is this a God who knows where he is casting his seed just to see what will happen?
  • After reading the Parable of the Sower do we know better how to live a full and fruitful life? Does the parable give us hope?


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