The Parable of the Sower Depth and Growth Chart shows key dimensions of each soil type. One dimension is depth and the other is growth achieved. The Parable explains too little depth is insufficient. To increase our own depth requires learning & following & giving ourselves to Jesus Christ more fully, and eventually completely. (Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV): You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.) Despite depth enough to grow, those who receive the message who fail to eliminate weeds present in their own life as scriptures require, later find the world’s demands detrimentally competing with their spiritual growth and impeding their fruitfulness. (Matthew 6:24 (ESV): “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”)
The Rich Young Ruler:
The Parable of the Sower provides a way to understand the interaction between Jesus and the rich young ruler.
Matthew 19:16-22 (ESV): 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
The rich young ruler correctly addressed Jesus as Good Teacher, because Jesus teaches us authoritatively about God the Father’s character, since Jesus is God. The rich young ruler’s formal address to Jesus was technically correct, although he did not understand fully who Jesus was, so Jesus clarified that only God was good. As the rich young ruler lacked sufficient understanding about Jesus’ true identity, his condition parallels a shallow root depth like in the Parable of the Sower. When he asked Jesus what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus graciously iterates the commandments the rich young ruler confidently felt he followed closely. When the rich young ruler sought to more deeply know what was lacking, Jesus’ answer revealed an idol in his life, which was his great possessions. The Parable of the Sower shows us this idol was a figurative weed, competing for first place in his life. Like the rich young ruler having shallow roots and weeds at the same time, we too can suffer from multiple simultaneous conditions adversely affecting our growing properly in God’s Kingdom.
The Rich Young Ruler and Hope:
Like the rich young ruler, you too might assess that Jesus’ expectations of you are beyond your ability to fulfill alone. (Matthew 19:22 (ESV): 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.)
Matthew 19:23-26 (ESV): 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.“
Unlike the rich young ruler, rather than walk away in despair, you can enroll divine assistance to conquer obstacles you alone find impossible to overcome. These otherwise impossible obstacles can be overcome when following Jesus to team up together with God.
View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.
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Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower: