The seeds on the path do not believe (Lk 8:12-8:12)

“The seeds

On the path

Are those who have heard.

Then the devil comes,

He takes away

The word

From their hearts.

Thus,

They may not believe

And be saved.”

 

οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες σωθῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the path (οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν) are like those people who have heard the word (εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες).  However, the devil comes (εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος), and takes away this word (καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον) from their hearts (ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  Thus, they do not believe (ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες) and are not saved (σωθῶσιν).  This explanation about the seeds on the path can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:19, Mark, chapter 4:15, and here.  Mark indicated that Jesus explained that the seeds on the path or the road were the people who heard the word, but immediately Satan, and not the devil, came in the form of the birds.  Satan or the birds took away the sown seeds or the words that had been sown in them, the holy words.  Thus, the birds were the evil Satan that came and devoured them, because they did not understand the words within them.  Matthew said that they did not understand what they heard, so that the birds or the evil one, not Satan or the devil, would come and seize or snatch away what had been sown in their hearts, the words of the kingdom.  Once again, the birds were the evil ones that came and devoured the seeds, because they did not understand the words of the kingdom.  All 3 synoptic gospels indicate that listening to the word was not enough.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  Have you let evil birds take away your belief in the word of God?

The mustard seed (Mk 4:31-4:32)

“The kingdom of God

Is like

A mustard seed.

When sown

Upon the ground,

It is the smallest

Of all the seeds

On earth.

Yet when it is sown,

It grows up.

It becomes the greatest

Of all shrubs.

It puts forth

Large branches,

So that the birds

Of the air

Can make nests

In its shade.”

 

ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων, καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν.

 

This parable of the mustard seed can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:31-32, and Luke, chapter 13:19.  The mustard seed was the symbol of small things.  However, it could grow to become a tree or shrub where birds could nest.  There was no explanation of this parable, except the clear indication that the kingdom of heaven may start out small but would grow to hold many people.  Jesus, via Mark, explicitly presented them with another short parable.  He said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed or a grain of mustard (ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως).  When planted in the ground (ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), it is the smallest of all seeds on earth (μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  But when it has grown after being planted (καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει), it becomes greater than all the garden plants or shrubs (καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων).  It then produces great branches (καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους).  Thus, the birds of the air would be able to come and perch or build nests in the shade of its branches (ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν).  What starts out small can become quite large.

Explanation of the good seeds (Mk 4:20-4:20)

“These are the seeds

Sown on the good soil.

They hear the word.

They accept it.

They bear fruit,

Thirty,

Sixty,

And a hundredfold.”

 

καὶ ἐκεῖνοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν σπαρέντες, οἵτινες ἀκούουσιν τὸν λόγον καὶ παραδέχονται καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν

 

This explanation of the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the seeds sown on good soil (καὶ ἐκεῖνοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν σπαρέντες) are the people who hear the word (οἵτινες ἀκούουσιν τὸν λόγον).  They accept it (καὶ παραδέχονται).  They then bear good fruit (καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν).  They yield either thirtyfold (ἓν τριάκοντα), sixtyfold (καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα), or a hundredfold (καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν).  Mathew, chapter 13:23, has the reverse order of 100, 60, and 30, while Luke, chapter 8:15, has no number on the fruits of the harvest.  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom will follow it.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 30 times, some 60, and some 100.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.

Explanation of the seeds among the thorns (Mk 4:18-4:19)

“Others are the seeds

Sown among thorns.

They are those

Who hear the word,

But the cares

Of the world,

The lure of wealth,

And the desire

For other things

Come in.

They choke the word.

It yields nothing.”

 

καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι· οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες

καὶ αἱ μέριμναι τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.

 

This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:22, and Luke, chapter 8:14, have this saying in an abbreviated fashion.  Mark explained that Jesus said that these seeds sown among the thorns (καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι) were the ones who heard the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες).  However, the cares and anxiety of this present world or times (καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος), as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth (καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου), along with the various desires for other things (καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι) choked or crowded out the word (συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον).  Thus, it yielded nothing (καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται).  The thorns were the everyday cares about physical riches and various pleasures that choked off the growth of the seeds or the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

Explaining the seeds on rocky ground (Mk 4:16-4:17)

“These are the seeds sown

On rocky ground.

When they hear

The word,

Immediately,

They receive it

With joy.

But they did not have

Their own roots,

Only temporary ones.

Then,

When trouble

Or persecution

Arises

On account of the word,

Immediately,

They fall away.”

 

καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι, οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν,

καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν, εἶτα γενομένης θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζονται.

 

This explanation of the seeds sown on the rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:20-21, and Luke, chapter 8:13, almost word for word to here.  Mark said that Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι) were like the people who heard the word (οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον), and immediately received it with joy (εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings did not have their own roots (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς), but only temporary roots (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (εἶτα γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the word.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

The explanation of the seeds on the path (Mk 4:15-4:15)

“These are the seeds

On the path.

The word was sown.

When they hear,

Satan immediately comes.

He takes away

The word

That was sown

In them.”

 

οὗτοι δέ εἰσιν οἱ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ὅπου σπείρεται ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν εὐθὺς ἔρχεται ὁ Σατανᾶς καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐσπαρμένον εἰς αὐτούς.

 

This is the explanation about the seeds on the path that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:19, said that the birds were the evil one.  Luke, chapter 8:12, mentions that the birds were the devil, not Satan.  Mark indicated that Jesus explained that the seeds on the path or the road (οὗτοι δέ εἰσιν οἱ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν) were where the word was sown (ὅπου σπείρεται ὁ λόγος).  They heard the word (καὶ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν), but immediately Satan came (ἔρχεται ὁ Σατανᾶς), in the form of the birds.  Satan or the birds took away the sown seeds or the word that had been sown in them (καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐσπαρμένον εἰς αὐτούς).  Jesus said that these seeds were the holy words.  The birds were the evil Satan that came and devoured them, because they did not understand the words within them.  Listening to the word was not enough.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seeds to be effective.

The rebuke of the slave with one talent (Mt 25:26-25:27)

“But his master replied.

‘You wicked slave!

You lazy slave!

You knew,

That I reap

Where I have not sown.

I gather

Where I have not scattered.

Then you ought to have

Invested my money

With the bankers.

On my return,

I would have received

What was my own

With interest.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Πονηρὲ δοῦλε καὶ ὀκνηρέ, ᾔδεις ὅτι θερίζω ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρα, καὶ συνάγω ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισα;

ἔδει σε οὖν βαλεῖν τὰ ἀργύριά μου τοῖς τραπεζείταις, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐγὼ ἐκομισάμην ἂν τὸ ἐμὸν σὺν τόκῳ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:22-23.  Jesus indicated that this master was not happy with his slave who hid his talent money.  This lord or master responded to this slave (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He called him a wicked lazy slave.  He knew that this master was a hard man, since he reaped where he had not sown (ᾔδεις ὅτι θερίζω ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρα).  He gathered where he had not scattered (καὶ συνάγω ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισα), repeating his own words.  The master then told this slave that he should have at a minimum invested his money with the bankers (ἔδει σε οὖν βαλεῖν τὰ ἀργύριά μου τοῖς τραπεζείταις).  Then, at least, when he returned (καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐγὼ ἐκομισάμην), he would have received his money plus the earned interest on it (ἐκομισάμην ἂν τὸ ἐμὸν σὺν τόκῳ).  This master was a harsh but generous slave owner.