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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

October 7, 2021

Daily Reading: Matthew 13-14


Matthew 13:18

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.


The parable of the Seed and the Sower is amazing. Simply Amazing! It is simple, yet amazing. It explains a lot about life. In fact, this parable is so amazing that the Lord seemed to indicate that if a person comes to understand it, they could understand all parables. Yes! He said of this story, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? (Mark 4:13)


In this short devotion there is not enough space to develop and explain this parable. For, in fact, it needs no development or explanation for those who read it. It develops into the imagination just as the Lord intended, and it explains itself in the souls of those who simply accept it by faith. So, in this short devotion let’s look at some aspects of parables in the Bible.


Parables are “word pictures”, they draw a picture with words. When a person hears a word, their mind produces a picture associated with that word. Think about the word Barney. Most people would either associate that word with Barney Fife or Barney the purple dinosaur. That is the picture associated with that word in your mind. The word “preacher” probably conjures up in your mind the image of your pastor. Word pictures use words that the audience can relate to, to teach an unseen truth. No one can see the Word of God in a person’s heart, but they can see a seed put into the soil and its response to the conditions of that soil.


Also know this, parables teach one central truth. Not everything about the parable is related to that truth, but the overall message the Lord gives through parables is truth. If not careful, parables can be taken too far yielding false teaching about a subject.


Additionally, parables, like illustrations, are wonderful tools for a speaker to use. However, oftentimes the illustration overwhelms the truth. Someone once said that “An illustration is like a window in a house, it lets others see what is inside”. A message without an illustration lacks transparency. Likewise, though, a house with all windows and no structural support will cave in on itself. Let’s say a preacher uses a football game as an illustration in a sermon. If the hearer comes away knowing all about the game, yet cannot recall the spiritual truth the game illustrated, then the illustration overwhelmed the message. The message, at least in the mind of the hearer, was the illustration, instead of it highlighting the spiritual truth of the message. Jesus gave just enough in His parables to give insight to the truth He was presenting, He always had perfect balance. Not only in speaking, but in all of His life and duties.


With all this said, learn this parable of the seed and sower, it is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. By understanding it, all parables can be more easily understood and kept in balance.


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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