Jeremiah and the Parable of the Sower

The Sower

One of the more well-known parables of Jesus is the parable of the sower. It is a simple parable and its basic point can be explained quickly, yet it teaches an important lesson. However, it is also one in which we can draw out other points. In this article, we are going to consider this parable and build upon it with lessons learned from Jeremiah.

And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear’” (Matthew 13:3-9).

In this parable, Jesus described the sower scattering seed on four different types of soils – the roadside, the rocky ground, the thorny ground, and the good soil. The seed was scattered regardless of the type of soil. However, the results were affected by the soil on which the seed fell.Continue Reading

Daniel Sommer: Caring for Our Bodies Better Than We Do for Our Souls

Daniel Sommer: Caring for Our Bodies Better Than We Do for Our Souls

Daniel Sommer (1850-1940) lived ninety years and spent about seventy of those years preaching the gospel. This would be an amazing feat in our modern time; yet for one who was born in the mid-nineteenth century, his longevity was truly remarkable. However, while there are some who almost idolize their physical health to the neglect of their spiritual health, Sommer saw the folly of that. He recognized that the well-being of one’s soul was far more important than bodily nourishment or outward appearance. He made the following remark in one of his sermons:

“‘Man is what he eats.’ This is an old saying, and it is as true of man spiritually as it is of him physically. Man’s body is made up of that which he eats, or receives into his system by eating, drinking, and breathing. The same is true of him educationally, socially, politically, morally and spiritually. In view of this we do not wish our bodies to be imposed on, nor poisoned, with impure foods. But we are not, generally, so careful about food for our souls. Though, as a rule, we do not take the best care of our bodies, yet we care for them better than we do for our souls. We wash our hands and faces several times each day, and pay some attention to the hairs of our heads. As a rule, we are much more concerned about the appearance of our bodies before mankind than we are about the appearance of our souls before God. If we go into a picture gallery and have a photograph taken of our facial expression we may be so pleased with it that we will order an extra dozen photos made to hand around among our friends. But suppose we could have a picture taken of our souls, especially if we have not fed them well on the word of God. We certainly would not wish the extra dozen of such pictures made. But what avails a well-kept, well-nourished body, if our souls are in a starving condition?” (Plain Sermons, p. 107).

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Road Trip (Part 2): The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus

As we continue this series, let us notice two men who were traveling the road to Emmaus. As we go along with them, we will learn about recognizing Jesus.

And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?’

And He said to them, ‘What things?’ And they said to Him, ‘The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.’

And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He was going farther. But they urged Him, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.’ So He went in to stay with them.

When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, ‘The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.’ They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of bread” (Luke 24:13-35).

This occasion was one of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Interestingly, even though these men were disciples, they did not recognize the Lord at first. Let us consider some points from this.Continue Reading

Monthly News Roundup (06.24.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of June – time for our monthly news roundup. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the number of Americans who are reading the Bible, the Department of Education and transgender students, and the effects of the pandemic on our emotional well-being.Continue Reading

I.B. Grubbs’ Six Rules of Biblical Hermeneutics

I.B. Grubbs, rejecting legalism

When it comes to studying the Bible, it is common for people to come away with their own understanding of the word of God. Many see nothing wrong with this, despite the varied and sometimes conflicting interpretations people have of the Scriptures. However, when Paul wrote to the brethren in Ephesus, he said, “By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4). He did not expect each of them to have their interpretation of the epistle he wrote by inspiration. Instead, he expected them to have the same understanding as he did. The only way this could happen is for each one to follow a common set of principles as they try to determine the meaning of a particular passage under consideration.

Isaiah Boone Grubbs (1833-1912) was a preacher and also a professor at the College of the Bible in Lexington, KY at the end of the nineteenth century and into the early part of the twentieth century. In the introduction to his material on the epistles of First and Second Corinthians and Galatians,* he outlined six hermeneutical rules that would allow students of the Bible to properly interpret the text. (Hermeneutics simply means “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible).”**) These principles are not unique to Bible study; rather, they are the same principles that can be used to correctly identify the meaning behind any body of instruction or teaching.

So let us briefly consider these six rules for Biblical hermeneutics.Continue Reading

Monthly News Roundup (06.03.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

We missed the last episode for the month of May, so we’re doing our monthly news roundup here. In this episode, we’ll be talking about a denomination’s first transgender bishop, assisted suicide, and the number of people who prefer either a print or digital version of the Bible.Continue Reading

Chinese Government Removing Bible Apps (05.20.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This week we’re going to be talking about the Bible app on your phone. Many of us have smartphones now and have one or more apps through which we can read the Bible on our phones. This is very convenient, and these apps have become quite popular. But what if these apps disappeared? We’re going to consider this in our episode today.Continue Reading