"Sowing and Harvest"
Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned."* From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
In Matthew Chapter 4, Jesus, after hearing that John the Baptist was inprisoned, left Nazareth and departed and dwelled in Capernaum. by doing so, he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning His journey. Jesus Christ came to re-establish the Kingdom of God, and from the time he relocated in Capernaum, Jesus echoed the same message John the Baptist spoke and was for the people to repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Unfortunately, the people rejected the message and the messenger, resulting in the kingdom being postpone and Jesus no longer speaking about the Kingdom of God openly as in the past, but chose to speak in "parables" The "Kingdom of Heaven" is a "New Testament" term of principle that occurs on the gospel of Matthew 32 times. Matthew is the only place were you will find these 12 parables concerning the Kingdom. You will find them in Matthew 13: 1-50, Chapter 18: 23-25, Chapter 20:1-16, Chapter 22: 1-14, and Chapter 25:1-30.
There are some theologians and scholars that refuse to believe that the Kingdom was a "physical" kingdom. They saw this kingdom as being "spiritual" in nature and only being seen in the lives of all believers in Christ then as well as in the church today. According to Dr. Clarence Larkin in his book "Dispensational Truth", "these parables illustrate that the "Kingdom of Heaven" is limited to "time and sphere; time in the sense that these parables describe events that will occur during the first coming and the second coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth, and "sphere" because it is concerning the part of the world that is "Christian" in scope".
In Matthew 13, Jesus disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables? Jesus explained the reason he began to speak in parables Matthew 13:10-17 to the disciples was it was given to them to know these truths. The truth about the "Kingdom of Heaven" was extremely important for them, They were being called to carry the gospel to the then known world. This "evangelistic" charge was not given. to the Pharisees, scribes and the other religious leaders, The Pharisees and scribes were too gross, too earthly in conduct and character; that is, they had grovelling conceptions of the Messiah's kingdom to understand these truths, even if Jesus had communicated to them. Then to, they were not called to preach the gospel, and since our Savior was at particular pains to instruct his apostles in the system which they were to preach. The Pharisees, and Jews generally, were not prepared to receive the system, and would not have believed it, and therefore he purposely employed a kind of teaching which was intended for his apostles only.
The Jews had many opportunities of learning the truth, and some light still lingered among them; but they were gross and sensual, It was a just in the judgment of Jesus that they should be deprived of truth concerning the coming kingdom.
Superior knowledge (Holy Spirit insight) was given to the disciples of Christ: they improved it, however slowly, and the promise was that it should be greatly increased. The Pharisees and scribes only saw the "natural" meaning of the story. It was strange that on one hand, they literally understood the parable, but did not understand their "spiritual" signification. Even though neither the Gospel according to Mark nor Luke states this "fact," they both do affirm the fact that Jesus spoke with this "intention". There was no dishonesty in Jesus doing it this way, this methodology or any unfair disguise. Jesus had truths to state which he wished his "disciples in particular" to understand. These "kingdom" truths were of great importance to their ministry. It was equally as true that they were expecting an earthly and visible kingdom, not a spiritual one. Some scholars think that it was clearly possible if Jesus had fully stated them to the Jewish leaders, they would have taken his life long before they did., though in all likelihood it wouldn't have occurred.
Jesus chose to state the doctrines so that if their hearts had been right, and if they had not been malignant and blind, "they might have understood them." His doctrines were stated in the best possible way, and it was not his fault if they did not understand him. Given these truth to them in "piecemeal" that is little by little, he prepared many people, even of the Jews to receive the truth; by the only possible way of ever gaining access to their minds. Jesus simply chose to impart instruction to his disciples which he did not "intend" for others to carry out.
Jesus and the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven
When Jesus began his earthly ministry in Matthew 4:17, notice that he proclaimed the same message John the Baptist proclaimed: Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! This "repentance" was in in reference to Israel's status with God and it was a call to "national repentance". There are many passages in the Old Testament that clearly indicated that Israel as a nation had to repent for their sin and rebellion against God in order for the "Messianic" kingdom could be set up. Also when Jesus sent out his disciples to proclaim the Word, Jesus empowered them to heal the sick, cast out demon, and proclaim that the Kingdom on Heaven was at hand. (Matthew 10:5-8)
What does The Parable of the Sower Represent?
A. The parable of the Sower
The purpose of this parable was to show both the character of the Kingdom of Heaven and the how the hearers will either profit or fail to profit by hearing the .even though Jesus clearly revealed how the Word of God and how the hearer receives it and act upon it and submit to the will and way of God. The "sower" is Christ himself. The seed is the "Word of God". The ground and types are the people who hear the Word but respond to the seed differently. The "4 classes" of hearers represent the causes and hinderance a person experiences that either cause them to act upon the Word accordingly or reject it altogether.
1. The "wayside" represents the hearer that hears the Word, but the Word never get a chance to take root in their life. The reason is Satan immediately sends his demon "birds" of doubt, prejudice, criticism, unbelief and worldly preoccupation and emotion instability to swoop down and zero in on the seed that is sitting on the surface of a person's heart, but hasn't had time to work its way into the inner workings of their lives. These emotional birds snatch upthe seed before germination can take place.
2. The "stoney ground" represents the hearer that gets the seed and the seed takes root, but because of the "shallowness" of their faith, dies before it can germinate and grow up. The two weapons that Satan uses against "stoney" ground are the "trials" and "tribulations" of this world.
3. The "thorny ground" represents the hearer that the Word actually takes root and , germinate and grows up, but never bears fruit. The reason for this is because embedded in the heart of the "thorny ground" hearer are weeds of "hinderances" that also grow up, but they out grow and overshadow the Word and drain the soil of the essential nutrients needed to promote spiritual growth in a believer. In the Gospel of Matthew, the writer mentions 2 of the many "thorns" that hinder growth: the "Cares of this World" and the "Deceitful of Riches" Mark mentions another hinderance: Lust of "other" things. Luke mentions another: the "Pleasures" of this World.
4. The "Good" ground represents the person that the Word of God takes root, germinates, grows up and bears fruit. what you will notice is Jesus said that the good ground yielded different amounts of fruit.: 30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold.
Why is the amount of fruit different?
The fault was not in the soil because the Bible says all of the ground was good ground, In fact the fact that seeds were sown on all of the "types" of grounds says that fruit could be produced. The "key" lies in how much "culltivation" (preparation) went into reading the soil for planting and harvesting. If the sower had taken the amount of time needed to clear off , till or turn over the ground, then planting and making sure that the proper atmospheric conditions prevailed the yield allover the field would have been 100%.
Conclusion: The "real purpose" of this parable is to show us in an "agricultural" way that the purpose of the Dispensation of Grace is to gather out of this world the Church. This means that the "Gospel of the Kingdom" shall be preached to all nations for "a witness" and then shall the end come. Sadly the world will not be converted by the preaching of the Gospel and this parable does not teach that it will. It does teach that the Word of God will be spread all over the world for the purpose of giving everybody an opportunity to turn from their wicked ways and turn to God through accepting Jesus Christ. God said that HE wish that none should perish, but that all would come unto repentance.