The Parable of the Sower - Part 1

December 21, 2020

Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:3-9).

Having been raised on farm in Arkansas, I am quite familiar with the context of this parable of Jesus. So much truth can be drawn from it and applied into our daily lives. But as previously stated, a parable has basically one central truth and application. In this parable Jesus emphasized the necessity of bearing good fruit as evidence of true life. In fact, the emphasis on bearing good fruit in one’s life is a recurring theme of Jesus in His teaching (see Matthew 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:23, etc.).

The Parable of the Sower (also known as the Parable of the Soils) is found in 3 of the 4 Gospels -  Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; and Luke 8:1-15. It is regarded by many as one of the more important parables of Jesus because it identifies who is truly saved; who has eternal life.

As with all parables, the key elements of the story have to be interpreted with regard to human life, spiritual life, or kingdom life. In this parable the sower is the Lord Jesus Christ. The seed is the Gospel. The four soils represent the four main categories of the human heart. The hard-pan or way-side soil is a hardened heart that is closed to the Gospel. The stony or rocky soil is the shallow heart. The weedy soil is the worldly heart. The good soil is the open and receptive heart.

Each person determines what kind of heart he/she has with regard to the Gospel. We decide whether we will have a hard heart, a shallow heart, a crowded heart, or a receptive heart. This is exactly what James meant when he said, Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21). The Lord desires each heart to be receptive to the Gospel. He desires each life to be productive in His Kingdom, to bear fruit unto eternal life. Only when we remain firmly grafted into the life of Jesus Christ can we be truly saved and fruitful in His Kingdom (John 15:1-6).

“Lord Jesus, may my life continue to produce evidence of my love for You and my commitment in faith to the work of Your Kingdom. It is my continued prayer that others will be drawn to You and saved by Your grave through the work and ministry of my life. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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