Sunday Sermon Quotes [The Sower, the Seed, and the Secret of Parables]

Yesterday, CJ brought in his "smart guys" to to shed added light on the Parable of the Sower and, by extension, all parables. Enjoy these quotes!

"Mark transports us back into the first century to walk with Jesus under Palestinian skies, to hear him preach and teach, to watch him perform miracles, to see him in disputation with religious leaders, and to witness the reactions of people to him. The person who reads Mark's Gospel is challenged to move back and forth between the first century and the present day, viewing the message and ministry of Jesus in its original context so that it may speak clearly to the present circumstances of life." Michael Wilkins

"The parables make a direct appeal to the imagination and involve the hearers in the situation. It entices the hearers to judge the situation depicted, and then challenges them, directly or indirectly, to apply that judgment to themselves. In Mark the parables focus upon the critical situation in which both Jesus and his hearers stand-a situation created by Jesus presence." William Lane

"Jesus parables required of his hearers no special knowledge or vocabulary to understand but they are not easily understood. Many of Jesus parables are confounding, knocking hearers off balance." James Edwards

"By quoting Isaiah 6:9-10 in his explanation of why he teaches in parables, Jesus indicates that nothing has really changed about Israel since Isaiah's day. They see but do not perceive, they hear but do not understand; that is, they are still afflicted with unbelief. Jesus ministry through parable's has the same role as Isaiah's ministry, namely hardening Israel further, so that God's purposes for judgment might be fulfilled. But, at the same time, there will be a holy seed, a remnant raised up from among Israel, who hear, and see, and understand. Hearing the word with acceptance, this remnant will be the seed the enters the coming harvest of the kingdom of God. But this remnant of believers will be raised up against the backdrop of the general unbelief of Israel." Peter Bolt

"The citation of Isaiah 6:9 does not mean that 'those outside' are denied the possibility of belief. It indicates that they are excluded from the opportunity of being further instructed in the secret of the kingdom so long as unbelief continues. That the Kingdom has come in an initial phase in the presence of Jesus can be discerned only through faith, which is to say by the grace of God. Jesus presence, therefore, means disclosure and veiling: it releases both grace and judgment." William Lane

'We should be as surprised as the first hearers no doubt would be that in such adverse circumstances the harvest is as great at it is." Donald English