Markby Robert M. Solomon
The parable of the sower is followed later on by two other parables about seeds. In between are these four pithy sayings of Jesus that seem out of place among the parables. However, the connection can be seen in verses 23-24: ″If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear. Consider carefully what you hear.″ These sayings have to do with the hearing and reception of God's Word, a matter introduced by the previous parable on the four kinds of response and their consequences.
The first saying indicates the responsibility of the one who hears the Word (v. 21). If he understands it, then it will enter his life as a light that is not to be kept to oneself but shared with others. In other words, the one into whose heart the seed of God's Word is sown must himself become a sower. There are evangelistic responsibilities for the disciple who hears and obeys. Becoming a sower is one of the fruits of a heart that is like the good soil. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said something similar, reminding His listeners that they would be ″the light of the world″ if they let the light ″shine before others″ (Matthew 5:14-16).
The second saying (v. 22) reiterates the first-the gospel light cannot be hidden away. But it could also refer to the fact that when God's Word comes into a person, it tests what is hidden, concealed from others or even from oneself. God's Word is like a torch that shines in the darkness. It exposes our sins, weaknesses, and self-serving excuses (Hebrews 4:12-13).
The third saying (v. 24) indicates that God will reward our response to His Word. When we receive the Word with joy, faith, and obedience, we will be given more and a growing capacity for more. It takes time to grow in God's Word. God is always generous, ″and even more″, in His actions and responses to us. As His Word grows in us, His blessings too will grow.
The fourth saying (v. 25) repeated the third and also stated the obverse. One who does not allow the Word to sink deeply into his life will be all the poorer for it. The adage ″use it or lose it″ comes to mind.
How can you make it a habit to humbly share with others what the Lord has taught you? Is there someone with whom you should regularly share your insights?
What do the third and fourth sayings (vv. 24-25) say about discipleship as an ongoing process of faith, obedience, and understanding? How have you fared in this journey?