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(9)

Jesus said,
"Now the sower went out,
took a handful (of seeds),
and scattered them.

Some fell on the road;
the birds came

and gathered them up.

Others fell on the rock,
did not take root in the soil,
and did not produce ears.

And others fell on thorns;
they choked the seed(s)

and worms ate them.

And others fell on the good soil

and it produced good fruit:
it bore sixty per measure and

a hundred and twenty per measure."

Compare

Mark 4:2-9

He used stories to teach them many things, and this is part of what he taught:

Now listen! A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked out the plants. So they did not produce any grain. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants grew and produced thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was scattered.

Then Jesus said, “If you have ears, pay attention.”

Matthew 13:3-8

Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said: A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered.

Luke 8:5-8

A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was doing it, some of the seeds fell along the road and were stepped on or eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground and started growing. But the plants did not have enough water and soon dried up. 7\Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. The rest of the seeds fell on good ground where they grew and produced a hundred times as many seeds.

When Jesus had finished speaking, he said, “If you have ears, pay attention!”

In this parable, it seems that the "seeds" are not really intended for those already on the wide path. Falling in the road, they are trampled underfoot or eaten by "birds". To the “birds”, the seeds are just a snack, an interesting tidbit, perhaps, but they derive nothing substantial from them. These seeds do not take root. Furthermore, this crazy farmer does not try to seek out only good soil for planting. He scatters his seeds everywhere, notably "off-road” among rocks and weeds! I believe Jesus perceived his mission as being not for those on "the path" of organized religion, but to those by the wayside, those ignored and overlooked by the scribes and priests, as in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

Jesus replied:

As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side. A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.” Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?”

The teacher answered, “The one who showed pity.”

Although it is possible for seeds to sprout and grow within any given path, it seems to me that most the well-known "paths" have way too many "birds" and

not enough Good Earth.

The phrase: ”bore sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure." may refer to each of the twelve disciples receiving FIVE measures, as in the five Gnostic sacraments. 12 x 5 = 60

If they each doubled what they were given, as in the parable of the “talents” in Matthew 25:14-29,

For — as a man going abroad did call his own servants, and did deliver to them his substance,

and to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to each according to his several ability, went abroad immediately.

And he who did receive the five talents, having gone, wrought with them, and made other five talents;

in like manner also he who [received] the two, he gained, also he, other two;

and he who did receive the one, having gone away, digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

And after a long time cometh the lord of those servants, and taketh reckoning with them;

and he who did receive the five talents having come, brought other five talents, saying, `Sir, five talents thou didst deliver to me; lo, other five talents did I gain besides them.

And his lord said to him, Well done, servant, good and faithful, over a few things thou wast faithful, over many things I will set thee; enter into the joy of thy lord.

And he who also did receive the two talents having come, said, Sir, two talents thou didst deliver to me; lo, other two talents I did gain besides them.

His lord said to him, Well done, servant, good and faithful, over a few things thou wast faithful, over many things I will set thee; enter into the joy of thy lord.

And he also who hath received the one talent having come, said, Sir, I knew thee, that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering from whence thou didst not scatter;

and having been afraid, having gone away, I hid thy talent in the earth; lo, thou hast thine own!

And his lord answering said to him, Evil servant, and slothful, thou hadst known that I reap where I did not sow, and I gather whence I did not scatter!

it behoved thee then to put my money to the money-lenders, and having come I had received mine own with increase.

Take therefore from him the talent, and give to him having the ten talents,

for to every one having shall be given, and he shall have overabundance, and from him who is not having, even that which he hath shall be taken from him;

that would be TEN measures each. 12 x 10 = 120

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