Ms. Good Soil

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 – The 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time – for Sunday, July 13, 2014

“Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty…” (Matthew 13:8)

20110724Hear one of Jesus’ parables!

Is it for me?

Just for you. Are you listening?

I’m listening. (Mostly.)

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

*      *      *

Early in seminary, I learned that Biblical scholars had long disagreed, and continued to disagree, about which parables were Jesus’ “real” words. It was possible the writer of a Gospel, not Jesus, created a particular story. It was possible some familiar stories, already shared and known in the first-century world, were incorporated into the Gospels. In either case, the maybe-not-by-Jesus stories were tweaked to bolster the message of Jesus’ ministry. Think of it as pre-modern copying and pasting. Or harmless proto-plagiarism.

If you take the Bible literally, you’ve probably already shaken your fist at me and left the room. (Hey, Larry, you dolt, if a Gospel said this is what Jesus said, then that is that.) Continue reading →