Jesus Christ is the most impressive Teacher who ever lived, for He is Divine.

Each teaching of Christ, as presented in the Gospel is purposeful, revealing the fullness of Truth of Christ Himself in the Old Testament, teaching men about the need for repentance on the way to the Kingdom of Heaven and masterful in how Jesus both knows what moves the hearts of men and then teaches in a way that moves hearts.

In an age of a feminized softness of Christianity, that predominately teaches only about the “love” of Jesus and forgets the tough challenges that Christ makes to men, it is helpful to look at what Christ actually said and how He said it.

Christ is the Perfect Man and speaks and teaches in a manly way.

The Sower offers a prime example of Christ’s focus on converting the hearts of men and how He uses manly language (Matt 13:1-9):

 [1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.

[2] And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. 

[3] And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 

[4] And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 

[5] Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 

[6] but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. 

[7] Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 

[8] Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 

[9] He who has ears, let him hear.”

In this teaching, Christ’s appeal to the men who were listening is evident in His choice of metaphor and the language He uses:

  • As a starting point, it is interesting to note the virile manliness of Jesus.  Large crowds follow Him; in the tough and confrontational culture of the 1st century Holy Lands, men would never have followed a man who was effeminate or weak.  It was a time of strong men.
  • The crowd is so large that Jesus got in a boat, pushed off, sat down and taught the standing crowds.  Men didn’t stand to listen to someone, unless the person was of great stature; Jesus, the Divine Rabbi, sits while the others stand.  In that time an culture, men wouldn’t have stood and listened to a women or a weak man.  Jesus is manly and respected.
  • In a time when so-called political leaders, have every word scripted and fed to them with teleprompters and have their words amplified, Jesus would have been a shock.  He speaks loudly, with a robust voice that carries across the water and be heard by a crowd, perhaps numbering in the thousands.  He speaks without a “script”, unafraid to rely on His own Divinity.
  • The parable itself is about the manly vocation of farming.  In the 1st century, there were no tractors with GPS and air-conditioning; one broke ground with a rudimentary plow, ground that was rocky and tough to cultivate.  It was manly work, work done primarily by men.  Of note: women were also active in the harvest, which was also hard work.  Here, Jesus is talking to the men about the hard work of sowing.
  • The character in the parable is a man.  Jesus wanted to reach men and he predominately used male characters in his parables.
  • The talk is straightforward and to the point.  There is a manly efficiency to what Christ is saying; there are no flowery words and no weasel words, so typical in today’s politically correct and feminine public talk.  Here, Jesus talks direct in a way that men like to receive information.
  • There is real drama here, the drama of life and death, success and failure in planting.  Jesus knows the hard challenges of agriculture and what gets men’s attention:  men knew that if the harvest fails, there is a lack of food to feed a man’s family.  This alone would get men’s attention.
  • Men would relate to the message and be able to remember and repeat it.
  • Jesus talks in the clear language of loss and gain, production and failure to produce.  Men are quantitative and Jesus uses numbers (“some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty”). Men would “get it.”
  • Jesus gives men very clear direction: “He who has ears, let him hear.”  21st century translation: “You, the man in the front row, yes, you!  I’m talking to you.  Listen!”  Men would wake up and heed this kind of talk.

Jesus’ whole delivery of this material, from how He draws men to follow Him, to His pushing off on the boat and assuming a superior position (e.g. sitting down), to His choice of using agriculture, to His direct and blunt talk; everything about Christ’s Parable of the Sower is designed to appeal to men.

Men in Jesus’ time listened, pondered and remembered the Words of Christ.

The question is for you, Catholic men: “You have ears.  Are you hearing your King?”