Speaker: Jerry Cisar
If you grew up hearing sermons about the “Parable of the Sower,” you might think, “What’s so hard about understanding parables?” However, living in a mostly urban world, the parable itself doesn’t resonate with actual life. There are parts that we just miss. But to the peasants of Jesus’ original audience, it was a story about everyday life with strange anomalies.
The first audience may have named this the Story of the Foolish Farmer. Seeds were “gold.” Seeds represent food not eaten in order that there would be future food. No farmer would sow seed as carelessly as this fellow… on the path, on the rocky ground, among thorns (weeds). Why doesn’t he do some weeding before sowing, or plow up the hard ground? To them, this farmer sows foolishly.
As it turns out, the harvest is bountiful! Three of the four soils fail to produce anything, yet the harvest is still abundant. A crop of 2-fold or 4-fold would be a typical. In a really fertile area with right conditions one might reap as much as 8-10 times what is sown. Any more would be a bumper crop. So 100, 60, or 30 times are all super abundant! Any seeming foolishness on the part of the sower is made up for by the abundant harvest of the seed on this 4th soil.
This parable about a foolish farmer who still has an abundant harvest raises questions and requires explanation.