Sermon: The Parable Of The Sower -- By: Kirk Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 13:3 (Fall 2009)
Article: Sermon: The Parable Of The Sower
Author: Kirk Wellum

Sermon: The Parable Of The Sower

Kirk Wellum

Kirk Wellum is Principal and Professor of Biblical Studies, Pastoral and Systematic Theology at Toronto Baptist Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Prior to this, he served as a church planter and pastor from 1982-2006 in various churches in Southern Ontario. He has written many articles and is a contributor to A Foundation for Life: A Study of Key Christian Doctrines and their Application (Joshua Press, 2003) and The British Particular Baptists (Particular Baptist Press, 2003)

Matthew 13 contains eight parables about the kingdom of heaven, that is, the saving reign of God that has broken into human history in Jesus Christ. These parables are divided into two sections of four parables each. The first four (the parables of the Sower, the Weeds, the Mustard Seed, and the Yeast) are spoken in public to the crowds that were following Jesus. The last four (the parables of the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl, the Net and the Teacher of the Law) are spoken to the disciples when they were alone with Jesus. Taken together they compose the third of five major teaching sections in Matthew’s Gospel (cf. Matthew 5-7; 10, 13, 18, 24-25). By this arrangement Matthew is most likely presenting Jesus as someone greater than Moses in that he fulfills the law and the prophets, or what we know as the Old Testament scriptures.

Nothing in Matthew’s Gospel is superfluous and this amazing cluster of parables is no exception. To understand them we must see that they are related to Matthew’s overall portrait of Jesus. In his Gospel, they come after Jesus’ words regarding the fickle response of the crowd to John the Baptist (11:1-18), and his subsequent judgment on the unrepentant cities in which most of his miracles were performed (11:19-24). But all is not judgment. At the end of Matthew 11 Jesus speaks about things which are hidden and things which are revealed according to the sovereign good pleasure of the Father (vv. 25-26), and the necessity of divine revelation if anyone is to understand what is going on (v. 27). He then invites the weary and burdened to find rest in him (vv. 28-30).

In Matthew 12 Jesus presents himself as the Lord of the Sabbath against the backdrop of bitter opposition on ...

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