Sower went out to sow, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn.
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Parables of the Kingdom
Matthew 13:24-43 Commentary
by Stanley Saunders
After hearing the parable of the Sower, Jesus’ disciples ask him why he speaks in parables.
His striking reply is not often taken very seriously in the church today. Citing God’s call of Isaiah (Isaiah 5) as his model, Jesus effectively says he speaks in parables in order to reveal the “mystery” to some and hide it from others (13:10-17). We should, then, be surprised neither that the parables reveal and intensify the divisions Jesus’ ministry has already begun to generate, nor that the parables that follow in this portion of the discourse persistently point both to judgment and redemption, often using ambivalent images that can be read both ways.
Whereas we usually treat judgment and deliverance as exclusive alternatives, Jesus, like the prophets before him, holds them together. Whether Jesus’ audience hears the parables as depictions of deliverance or threat depends, therefore, on whether they are wealthy landowners, members of the crowd, scribes or Pharisees, or disciples. It’s still true today: where we stand in relation to God’s rule ...
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Summer Readings (2019)
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 349: Parables of the Kingdom
February 17, 2019
Podcast on Matthew 13:24-43, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Feb. 17, 2019 (Parables of the Kingdom) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.