Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
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5 "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
8 And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." As he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,
10 he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved.
13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
15 And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.
5 ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσε παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ κατεπατήθη, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό· 6 καὶ ἕτερον ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν, καὶ φυὲν ἐξηράνθη διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ἰκμάδα· 7 καὶ ἕτερον ἔπεσεν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἀκανθῶν, καὶ συμφυεῖσαι αἱ ἄκανθαι ἀπέπνιξαν αὐτό. 8 καὶ ἕτερον ἔπεσεν εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν ἀγαθήν, καὶ φυὲν ἐποίησε καρπὸν ἑκατονταπλασίονα. ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει· ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω. 9 Ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες· τίς εἴη ἡ παραβολὴ αὕτη; 10 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς, ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσι καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν. 11 ἔστι δὲ αὕτη ἡ παραβολή· ὁ σπόρος ἐστὶν ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ· 12 οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες σωθῶσιν. 13 οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς πέτρας οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσι, μετὰ χαρᾶς δέχονται τὸν λόγον, καὶ οὗτοι ρίζαν οὐκ ἔχουσιν, οἳ πρὸς καιρὸν πιστεύουσι καὶ ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ ἀφίστανται. 14 τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ πλούτου καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου πορευόμενοι συμπνίγονται καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσι. 15 τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον κατέχουσι καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ.
Larger Thought Unit
Luke 8:1-21 is the larger unit for today’s parable. The introduction to the parable refers to the preaching of Christ throughout every city and village and the place of women. Clearly Luke is discussing the church’s apostolic activity and proclamation of the gospel. Central to the parable is the subject of varying responses to the ‘glad tiding of the kingdom of God.’ Foremost is the question of why only a few respond ‘fruitfully’ to the gospel word.
For this parable, which is the parable par excellence, see my detailed comments in my New Testament Introduction. This pericope is so rich that it is advisable to take one point at a time for each annual sermon.
Charles H. Talbert, Reading Luke, Smith & Helwys Publishing, Macon, GA, 2002; pp. 93-97.
Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.1: Paul and Mark, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1999; pp.156-63.
Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.2: Luke and Acts, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2001; pp.66-70.