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Parable Of The Sower | The Meaning Of Parables | King James Audio Bible KJV | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

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Mark 4: 1-20 | King James Audio Bible KJV | Parables Of Jesus | Parable Of The Sower

1 AND he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 ¶ The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

In teaching his parables, Jesus draws on a range of lived experience which would be familiar to his listeners. Often the parables describe work situations, reminding us that we are to root our Christian faith in a life that is useful to others, and that the whole texture of our lives should reflect our love of Jesus.

Jesus’ parables convey veiled meanings, which not be immediately apparent on first reading. Here we are asked to think of our Christian faith as a seed that is sown within us, and to reflect upon the quality of the soil that is ourselves – Are we blessed with good soil, such that we will be able to bring forth a plentiful harvest from that original seed? We are invited to open our hearts in love of Jesus. We may imagine Jesus’ audience discussing the meaning of the parables, creatively interpreting the parables as they work to discover the meaning. This very active way of engaging with and seeking to understand the parables would enrich their meaning greatly. The meaning of the parables then would not be merely theoretical knowledge, but would be experiential, lived with, grappled with, worked with, becoming part of who they and we are.

It may seem strange to us that Jesus does not want to explain the parables to everyone. The reason our Lord gives may also seem challenging. Our reading suggests that there is an intentional exclusivity, the explanation being withheld from the many so that they might not perceive and understand.

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We understand that those with Jesus as he explains the parables are those who have experienced conversion. They have witnessed Lord Jesus’ miracles and heard his teaching and they have welcomed Jesus into their hearts. The seed of faith has been sown within them, and the parable of the sower teaches them to hope that in the future they may preach the Gospel widely and convert many more to the Lord.

It is only gradually, with time, that the full mystery of Jesus, God incarnate, will be revealed to the many. Jesus must complete his mission, he must suffer on the cross to heal mankind, and this in itself requires much failure of recognition on the part of the people and religious authorities of Jerusalem.

Jesus asks us also to live closely with him as we read and understand the parables. We are invited by reading the Bible to be with Jesus as his friends. During the life of Jesus as he accomplished his ministry, it was necessary that much of the truth would be hidden. Now, however, the great gift of salvation has been revealed.

‘It is a vivid scene. The Divine Sower is also sowing His seed today. The work of salvation is still going on, and our Lord wants us to share that work. He wants Christians to open to His love all the paths of the earth. He invites us to spread the Divine message, by both teaching and example, to the farthest corners of the earth… If we look around, if we take a look at the world, which we love because it is God’s handiwork, we will find that the parable holds true. The word of Jesus Christ is fruitful, it stirs many souls to dedication and fidelity. The life and conduct of those who serve God have changed history. Even many of those who do not know our Lord are motivated, perhaps unconsciously, by ideals which derive from Christianity.

‘We can also see that some of the seed falls on barren ground or among thorns and thistles; some hearts close themselves to the light of faith. Ideals of peace, reconciliation and brotherhood are widely accepted and proclaimed, but all too often the facts belie them. Some people are futilely bent on smothering God’s voice. To drown it out they use brute force or a method which is more subtle but perhaps more cruel because it drugs the spirit – indifference.’ (Saint Josemaria Escriva)

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