The Parable of the Sower…”Some fell on rocky places…”
Greetings So Fyh readers and subscribers, as promised I will attempt to exegete the Parable of the Sower, in particular…the second part of the parable which states, “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root” (Matthew 13:5-6 NIV).
In my Biblical Study and Professional New Testament teaching of this Parable, I have found this part to be my favorite part because I believe many Christians find themselves relating more so to this particular “seed”. I think it’s important to note here the concept of sowing seeds before we delve into the second part. Sowing seeds is what farmers do in a broadcasting motion, i.e. they take a handful of seeds and cast them out in a sweeping motion and the seeds fall where they may. The Sower does not pick a particular spot in the ground and meticulously put the seed in the ground, but instead the “numbers game” is implemented. In other words, when one seed is planted, a lot of prayer and hope goes into that one seed that it might take root, spring up and produce fruit. However, when many seeds are broadcasted out, the Sower or Farmer is particularly concerned with the seeds that do take root, spring up and produce fruit while understanding that not all will, thus playing the numbers game.
As I said in my opening, I believe that many Christians find themselves relating to second part of this parable because when a non-believer becomes a believer, that person is filled with promise and enthusiasm that is rooted in their new-found acceptance of Jesus Christ. They sprout up very quickly, looking to get involved in all things church, like participating on the Usher Board, Youth Ministry, Kitchen Helper, and many others. Then…life happens! In other words, the heat of this world scorched their enthusiasm. So, what does this look like? It looks something like this…You miss Bible Study because you’re tired from work, or you get tickets to a sporting event or show that happens to be performing on Sunday so you skip church and choose to go to the event, or worse, the event is on Saturday night and you’re too tired to get up and go to church on Sunday. It happens to everyone, and it still happens. The difference is the depth of the roots of the believer.
In the second part of the Parable, despite the enthusiasm of the seed (believer), if he/she does not allow for the seed to take root he/she can’t grow and have the strength needed to live in a world of uncertainty like ours. There will be quick growths that are short lived because of the shallow commitment to Jesus and allowing personal life experiences to take precedence over the one who gave us life and guarantees us eternal life for all who believe. This is not an indictment on people that go out on Saturday nights, or skip church to go to a sporting event or watch it on TV. Beside, the bible tells us to enjoy the fruits of our labor (Psalm 128:2), but the Bible also tells us we should “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be given to us as well.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV)
God is well pleased that we get enthusiastic about Him and want to show our love for him, but he wants us to be sure of our faith and know why He is worthy of our praise. To do this, we need to know more about Him and we do that through the study of his word. Going to Church is a start, but it’s not all you need to do. Preaching can be inspirational and put us on the right path, but the teaching and interacting of like minded Christian believers is what will help your roots to grow. I’m reminded of a story I heard concerning preaching and teaching. Both are important, but it’s the teaching that keeps you engage and growing. The story is entitled “It’s not the Sizzle…It’s the Steak”.
In this story, the preaching is represented by the sizzle, and the teaching is represented by the steak. Imagine when you go to dine at a restaurant that serves fajitas and you’re sitting at your table looking over the menu and from a distance you hear a sizzle. As the sizzle get closer, it grabs your attention because first off, you don’t want hot grease popping on your head and secondly, they’re fajitas and everyone looks to see how visually appetizing they look, smell and sound. So, you decide to order the fajitas. If the fajitas are bad, you might still continue to frequent the restaurant (go to church), but not order the fajitas (go to bible study, Sunday school, etc…).
But if the fajitas are good, you will not only continue to frequent the restaurant (go to church), but also continue to order the fajitas as well (go to bible study, Sunday school, etc…). So you see, the sizzle grabs your attention and make you look, but the steak keeps you coming back. God is well pleased when we study His word as stated in 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Studying God’s word is how we grow and just like a plant, we can’t grow strong unless we first take root. Get rooted in God’s word, and watch how you can grow.