Most of our readers could repeat the essence, if not the full word-for-word passage, of the Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mat 13). It is, after all, Jesus’ first recorded parable, and has been taught in church services over and over again. We have been told that if we cannot understand this parable, very likely we will not understand anything Jesus taught on earth. It is almost like we have been coerced into understanding this one teaching. And we do well to understand it.
It was, however, never God’s plan for us to grasp this one parable to the neglect of that which follows. Verse 10 shows us that Jesus’ disciples went to Him and asked for the meaning and for His reasoning in speaking in parables. In the same chapter, we see that Jesus always spoke to the multitudes in parables, and without a parable He did not speak (Mat 13:34).
The key here is that Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables. To His disciples He disclosed the meanings. We take pride in receiving the revelation of the message, but the issue is that His disciples go to Him and ask. It is Proverbs 3:5–7 déjà vu. We cannot lean on our own understanding, but rather acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Life happens. There is always something going on, good things, bad things, things that upset our plans. We get cut off in traffic. The baby gets sick on the very night of the social event of the season. All the grandchildren in one family seem to go down the same questionable path. We pray. We ask the Lord to intervene. We stand for what we believe is right. Or sometimes we just get angry or heart-broken. But do we see life’s happenings as His parables? If we do, do we go to Him and ask? Are we of the multitudes, always seeing and never perceiving? Or are we disciples?