"Not much new," I thought to myself as I pondered a blog entry. And then I re-read Luke 8, and pondered the section that precedes the parable, where women follow Jesus, and are thus by definition (though not the Twelve) his disciples. Check this out:
Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.Women following a rabbi? In the first century that was radical. Second, women bankrolling Jesus's itinerate ministry? Even radicaller. More radical of all? That these women are models for what it means to be good soil.
Let's see if we can hear the parable's conclusion one more time:
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. "When he said this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."