The parables of Christ call us to move beyond merely hearing the proclaimed word to truly listening for the fullness of the voice of God. In the Parable of the Sower (as it has often been entitled), we find a reminder that in order to receive the Word of the Lord and see it flourish in our lives, we must refocus and commit ourselves to cultivating soil in which it can take root and grow.
The kingdom of God is so rare, and so valuable, that we should surrender everything we have to possess it. Only those who put everything they have into the kingdom will experience its full value.
In this parable we learn that the kingdom of God, like wheat, grows alongside the world (weeds) it will someday overcome. As people of the kingdom, we are not to (1) disentangle from the world, or to (2) overpower it on our own. We are to leave room for the judgment of God.
Like a mustard seed, the kingdom of God is small but powerful; like yeast it is hidden but active, causing everything around it to rise. It disrupts. It transforms. It changes whatever it permeates. As people of the kingdom, we are called to influence the places where we work, and live, and gather with the message of the kingdom of God.
Like many who heard the parables for the first time, we can be “ever hearing but never understanding;,” (Matt 13:14) and the surest way to do it is try to understand, for the parables are not something to be merely understood, but something to be entered, explored and practiced. To do so we must engage them with more than just our minds.