Read Matthew 13:1-30. What was Jesus teaching His audience about discipleship? What lessons can modern Christians derive from these metaphors?
Christ’s parable of the sower is familiar to many readers. The setting for the story was commonplace for an agrarian society, something to which Jesus’ listeners could easily relate. The connection with discipleship is obvious. Essentially Jesus is challenging His listeners to evaluate their standing as disciples. Rather than confronting each individual specifically, He speaks through parables, inviting disciples to confront themselves. Looking into their soul’s mirror, they can evaluate their materialistic tendencies, review their capacity for perseverance, analyze their worldly entanglements, and choose the lifestyle of uncompromising discipleship.
At the same time, true discipleship places judgment (condemnation) in the hands of the Master, not those of the disciple. Human discernment is incomplete, human knowledge partial. God alone possesses faultless understanding. Jesus warns, too, that satanic infiltration does happen. Disciples cannot surrender their judgment (discernment) to other professed believers because these believers may be weeds not wheat. Both grow together until harvest time.
In Christ’s parable teaching the same principle is seen as in His own mission to the world. That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly.-Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 17.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus talked about the
deceitfulness of riches. What was He talking about? How can riches deceive even those who don’t have them?