Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The seed is the word of God.—This takes the place in St. Luke’s interpretation of “the word of the kingdom” in St. Matthew. The “word of God” is obviously to be taken in its widest sense, as including every form by which a revelation from God is conveyed to the mind of man.Matthew 13:1-23.
(See on Mr 4:3-9, Mr 4:14-20.)See Poole on "Luke 8:4" Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 8:11-15. Interpretation of the parable (Matthew 13:18-23, Mark 4:13-20).11. It has been granted you to grasp these mysteries unveiled; to the rest it has been only given to grasp them under the veil of parables.
that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand] These words are difficult, and (without dwelling on the fact that the particle ἵνα loses in later Greek some of its final force) must not be pressed with unreasonable and extravagant literalism to mean that the express object of teaching by parables was to conceal the message of the kingdom from all but the disciples. This would have been to put the kindled lamp under a couch or a bushel. On the contrary they were addressed to the multitudes, and deeply impressed them, as they have impressed the world in all ages, and have had the effect, not of darkening truth but of bringing it into brighter light. The varying phrase of St Matthew, “because seeing they see not, &c.,” will help us to understand it. Our Lord wished and meant the multitudes to hearken and understand, and this method awoke their interest and deepened their attention; but the resultant profit depended solely on the degree of their faithfulness. The Parables resembled the Pillar of Fire, which was to others a Pillar of Cloud. If they listened with mere intellectual curiosity or hardened prejudice they would only carry away the parable itself, or some complete misapplication of its least essential details; to get at its real meaning required self-examination and earnest thought. Hence parables had a blinding and hardening effect on the false and the proud and the wilful, just as prophecy had in old days (Isaiah 6:9-10, quoted in this connexion in Matthew 13:14, comp. Acts 28:26-27; Romans 11:8). But the Prophecy and the Parable did not create the hardness or stolidity, but only educed it when it existed—as all misused blessings and privileges do. It was only unwillingness to see which was punished by incapacity of seeing. The natural punishment of spiritual perversity is spiritual blindness.
Nothing can be better than the profound remark of Lord Bacon, that “a Parable has a double use; it tends to vail, and it tends to illustrate a truth; in the latter case it seems designed to teach, in the former to conceal.”
“Though truths in manhood darkly join,
Deep seated in our mystic frame,
We yield all blessing to the name
Of Him who made them current coin.
For Wisdom dealt with mortal powers,
Where truth in closest words shall fail,
When truth embodied in a tale
Shall enter in at lowly doors.”
11. The seed is the word of God] We have the same metaphor in Colossians 1:5-6; 1 Corinthians 3:6; and a similar one in James 1:21, “the engrafted word;” 2Es 9:31; 2Es 9:33, “Behold, I sow my law in you, and it shall bring fruit in you...yet they that received it perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.”Verses 11-15. - The Lord's interpretation of the parable of the sower. Verse 11. - The seed is the Word of God. It was his own sad experience the Master was relating. The picture was of things, too, which had already happened in the case of many of his own true servants, the prophets. It mirrored, too, the many future failures and the few future successes of the listening disciples; it warned them not to be deluded by appearances, not to be discouraged by apparent failure. The Word, of course, in the first instance is his own teaching; it comprehends, however, any preaching or teaching, whether of prophet of the past or minister of the future, winch tries faithfully to copy his own.
According to its interpretation.
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