The seeds on the path (Lk 8:5-8:5)

“A sower

Went out

To sow his seeds.

As he sowed,

Some fell

On the path.

They were trampled on.

The birds

Of the air

Ate them up.”

 

Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ κατεπατήθη, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό.

 

This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:4, and Mark, chapter 4:4, and here in Luke, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Thus, Mark might be the source of this parable.  This first section was about the unsuccessful seeds.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a sower or farmer went out to sow his seeds (Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ).  As he sowed (καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν), some seeds fell on the path or road (ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  They were trampled on (καὶ κατεπατήθη).  Then the birds of the air ate them up (αὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό).  Mark wanted everyone to listen as he said that they should see that this farmer went out to sow his seeds.  Matthew and Mark said that the first group of seeds fell on the walking path, so that the birds devoured them.  They did not mention that these seeds were trampled on.  Thus, this first group of seeds were unsuccessful for this farmer.  Does it matter how you plant seeds?

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The good seed grows (Mk 4:26-4:27)

“Jesus said.

‘The kingdom of God

Is as if

Someone would

Scatter seed

On the ground.

He would sleep.

He would rise

Night and day.

Meanwhile,

The seed

Would sprout

And grow.

He does not know

How this happens.’”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ καθεύδῃ  καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός

 

This unique parable of Mark is not found in any of the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) that the kingdom of God (Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was like as if someone or a man would scatter, place, or drop some seeds on the ground (ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  He would then go to sleep (καὶ καθεύδῃ) and wake up (καὶ ἐγείρηται) every night and day (νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν).  Meanwhile, the seeds would sprout (καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ) and grow (καὶ μηκύνηται).  However, he did not know how this happened (ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός).  This is a little like the sower and the seeds in the various difficult places.  However, this is a simpler story.  He was just wondering how things grew in the kingdom of God.

The seeds are the word of God (Mk 4:14-4:14)

“The sower

Sows

The word.”

 

ὁ σπείρων τὸν λόγον σπείρει.

 

Mark said the seeds were the word (ὁ σπείρων τὸν λόγον), without any further clarification.  Matthew, chapter 13:19 was more explicit with the seeds as the word of the kingdom (τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας).  Luke, chapter 8:11, was ever more specific when he explicitly said that seed was the word of God (τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark said that the sower (ὁ σπείρων), either Jesus or his apostles, was sowing the word (τὸν λόγον σπείρει), the word of the kingdom, or the word of God into good ground, so that it might bear fruit.

Do you understand this parable? (Mk 4:13-4:13)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Do you not understand

This parable?

Then how will

You understand

All the other parables?”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Οὐκ οἴδατε τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην, καὶ πῶς πάσας τὰς παραβολὰς γνώσεσθε;

 

This reprimand remark of Jesus is unique to MarkLuke and Matthew did not use this comment, because it seems to make the apostles and disciples look stupid.  Jesus asked or said to them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) if they understood this parable about the sower (Οὐκ οἴδατε τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην)?  How would they be able to understand all the other parables (αὶ πῶς πάσας τὰς παραβολὰς γνώσεσθε), if they did not understand this one?

The parable of the sower with lost seeds (Mt 13:3-13:7)

“A sower went out to sow.

As he sowed,

Some seeds fell on the path.

The birds came.

They ate them up.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground.

Where they did not have much soil.

They sprang up quickly,

As they had no depth of soil.

When the sun rose,

They were scorched.

As they had no roots,

They withered away.

Other seeds fell upon thorns.

The thorns grew up.

They choked them.”

 

Ἰδοὺ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπείρειν.

καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ἃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ ἐλθόντα τὰ πετεινὰ κατέφαγεν αὐτά.

ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν, καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς,

ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος ἐκαυματίσθη καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη.

ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθας, καὶ ἀνέβησαν αἱ ἄκανθαι καὶ ἀπέπνιξαν αὐτά.

 

This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:3-7, and Luke, chapter 8:5-7, with Matthew closer to Mark.  The farmer or sower went out to sow his seeds (Ἰδοὺ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπείρειν).  This first section is about the unsuccessful seeds.  The first group of seeds fell on the walking path or road (καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ἃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν), so that the birds came and ate them up or devoured them (καὶ ἐλθόντα τὰ πετεινὰ κατέφαγεν αὐτά).  The second group of seeds fell on rocky ground (ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη).  They did not have much soil (ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν).  They sprang up quickly, even though they did not have much soil depth (καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς).  However, they were scorched and withered under the sun (ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος ἐκαυματίσθη) because they did not have good roots (καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη).  The final group of unsuccessful seeds fell among the thorns (ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθας) where they were chocked by the growing thorns (καὶ ἀνέβησαν αἱ ἄκανθαι καὶ ἀπέπνιξαν αὐτά).

Job maintains that he has not been fraudulent (Job 31:5-31:8)

“If I have walked with falsehood,

If my foot has hastened to deceit,

Let me be weighed in a just balance!

Let God know my integrity!

If my step has turned aside from the way,

If my heart has followed my eyes,

If any spot has clung to my hands,

Then let me sow!

Let another eat!

Let what grows for me be rooted out!”

The first question is falsehood. Has Job lied? Has Job cheated people? Job maintained that he had not deceived people. He had always used a just weight scale in his transactions. God knew his integrity. He had never turned from God’s way. If he has done anything wrong, let him be the sower and another person can eat of his crop. If he has been false and deceitful, whatever he has planted and grown should be rooted out.