Our next text, #41, is from a parable of Jesus: 18 ?Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.?.
1. Kingdom is something about which Jesus preaches — so it has content. One can infer, in general, that “kingdom” is the overall message of Jesus — about God, about himself, about God’s work through him, about the cross, about his vindication, about discipleship, etc..
2. The Evil One opposes Jesus’ kingdom message by snatching perceptions from those who hear it but do not comprehend it. Cosmic conflict is inherent to kingdom theology.
3. Jesus’ preaching of the kingdom is like sowing seeds … this refers to his routine preaching of that message.
4. Response to Jesus’ kingdom/seed message requires reception and production; those who respond properly persevere and live in accordance with Jesus’ teachings about wealth (v. 22).