Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Our Gospel passage for today is found in Matthew Chapter 13
This passage, more commonly known as the Parable of the Sower, is also sometimes known as the Parable of the Soils. This parable and its interpretation are sandwiched between stories of opposition to the Gospel. Chapters 11 and 12 contain multiple stories of opposition and misunderstanding of Jesus’ ministry. Chapter 13 concludes with Jesus’ hometown rejecting him. The parable in between these rejection/opposition narratives may be an answer to the question, why does the Gospel find generous space to grow among some people but not among others? In answering this question, Matthew gives us a practical theological explanation of why so many more hear than understand, why more disciples are planted than bear fruit, and which elements are necessary for fruitful discipleship. Matthew gives us at least three points of view to consider: we can think of this passage as the parable of the Sower, the parable of the Soils and the parable of the Miraculous Yields. The result of this includes the extravagant evangelism of God; the importance of understanding, perseverance, and attentiveness; and the miracle of faith. The parables also remind us where to keep our focus. In our own ministry, we are often tempted to spend our resources – time, energy, hope – expecting all things to go our way. We’re reminded that the Sower does not do that. He accepts the reality that some seed, a goodly portion of it, will fall on bad soil, yet he keeps sowing. As the rest of Matthew’s Gospel demonstrates, Jesus keeps spreading the word, no matter how dry, rocky, or weed-infested the ground. We, his followers, are called to do the same. And like Jesus, we have yet another calling, also found in this parable. The story ends with a miracle, a hundred-fold harvest. It is our job to trust – and share – that possibility as well. Jesus challenges them – and us – to believe in God’s abundance. That is the God this parable calls us to trust. Jesus knows the hard ways of this world. He also knows the abundant ways of God. May we, as His disciples, have faith in God’s abundance too.