My thoughts on the disciples in relation to the biblical parable.
| In the Parable of the Sower Jesus compared the sowing of the soil to the way that the word of God was received. I am convinced that one of the reasons the disciples were so puzzled was because it was a commentary on how they were receiving the word. I believe this has contemporary implications as well. Only as we receive the word are we able to share the word with others. We might see these soils at work in various stages of our development. It is my hope that in changing our path to a better soil we might see how Jesus can work through any and all circumstances.
Some of the seeds of the word that were sown went by the wayside. The word (seed) was there and yet being a seed is not enough. Judas Iscariot, the treasurer is an example of this orientation. On the outside he seemed real concerned about the poor, yet even in this respect he was missing the message of servanthood Jesus was trying to share. Judas was jealous for a new rule that conquered Rome. It would not be long before the treasurer sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He gave up the treasure of Jesus for power that he thought transcended the word God sent. The hope for someone like Judas is recognizing his sin it and in so doing be lifted out of certain eternal damnation by a mercy that is much greater. In our own day the best learning, is to stray seeds intent on hurting others, be taken care of by God or those God sends.
The seed on the rocky soil is like the person of Peter who was known as the rock. The word Jesus gave filled him with joy. He could not do enough to please Jesus--He walked on water, he was ecstatic when Jesus accepted him even though sinful, and when presented by Moses and Elijah being at the transfiguration, he could think of nothing better than making booths for them. The trauma for Peter took place when he of all people denied Jesus three times when the heat was on. The hope for Peter was to be found in remembering the name that was given to him. Peter eventually found a place in the Rock that allowed him to grow. With Peter we see one who can seem withered and failing being as one raised from the dead. In our own time is the warning not to get too cocky, for a fall is not far away and only by the grace of God is withering delayed.
The seed on the weedy and thorny soil is likened to the sons of thunder, James and John. They had a reputation for getting upset when life was more anxious. Together they were known for their ability to fix tangled fishing nets. In the scriptural testimony they are seen as tangled up themselves asking Jesus if thunder needed to be sent to persons who did not believe. Their mother tried to get a special place for them in the kingdom of heaven. Over time we see how they are less sharp and yielding rather than choking out opportunity for others to hear the Word. John becomes the beloved disciple and James one of the main leader. They have learned to put entanglement behind him in order to be embraced by the Word of God. It is best to avoid entanglements if we can. As we free ourselves of entanglement we are able to help untangle others.
The rich soil is like Andrew who sows with thanks. He sees a small boy and uses his offering, so that five thousand men and their families are fed. We can be grateful that God can use the little we offer and make it grow and multiply beyond our wildest dreams. We sow, so that we can grow. In being grateful to God we open the way for others to be thankful with us.