The Parable of the Sower and the Seed
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And 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 sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. (Matthew 13:3-8)
What is a Parable? A parable, used in Jewish culture, was a common form of teaching a spiritual or moral truth. The purpose for teaching in this style was to show comparison, an example, that could be more easily understood laid alongside that which was not known or understood, in order to explain it. Jesus, being the master teacher, used parables to touch the hearts of the disciples and others making them useful and powerful tools.
The parable of the Sower begins as Jesus leaves the house and sits by the sea side to teach. As the crowd increases and gathers around Him, He stands up, walks to the shore of the sea, gets into a boat, sits down in the boat and begins to speak. The multitude stands on the shore to hear what lessons He would teach them through parables. Jesus opens the parable with these words: “Behold, a sower went forth to sow.” The word, “Behold” is designed to arrest attention and to indicate that our Lord was about to communicate something of unusual importance.
The Sower and the Seed ~ No name or position was given to the sower in this parable indicating, every Christian should be a sower, diligently laboring and devoted entirely to the greatest of all tasks, sowing the precious Word of God. The sower, no matter who he or she may be, should be praying for appropriate seasons and times to spread the gospel, the power of God. The Bible twice describes the gospel as “the power of God.” Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 1 Corinthians 1:24 “... Christ the power of God...” In all of Scripture, nothing else is ever described in this way, except for the Person of Jesus Christ. What a compelling description that illuminates God’s power and manifests how great is His salvation that regenerates, transforms and rebuilds one’s life.
The Soil ~ Most of the attention given in this parable is given to the soil. The seed sown in all four soils is the same, but what a difference in the heart and reaction to the Gospel is represented in the different soils. The Wayside Soil, the seed is on the surface of the roadside, but not inside the heart. The birds come, which are the agencies of “the wicked one” and snatch away the seed, thus, the truth does not take hold. The Stony Ground, or the one with an emotional mind receives the seed but it does not take root. These dear people do not know what it means to be truly “Born Again” by the incorruptible seed. When temptations and persecution come their way because of the Word, they quickly turn aside. The depth of faith, surrender and character are lacking leaving them with a superficial hope. The Thorny Ground, this person hears the Word of God but makes a superficial commitment without true repentance. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of this life cause them to miss sitting at the feet of Jesus. The Good Ground, this is one who hears, understands the Word of God and is bearing fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. The Word of God takes root deep in their hearts and the result, they continue to sow seed in the field God has given them. Bearing fruit is the ultimate mark of a true believer and evidence of the Spirit’s work in the lives of His children.
Thought: We as Christians need to cultivate a desire to spread the Gospel and pray God will give to us a burden for those who are without the knowledge of His saving power. There should be a longing in our soul to have others experience His saving grace while devastated by the plight of those outside of Christ. May we continue to give the Gospel to a lost and dying world pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 23). How blessed we are that our eyes have been opened to the glorious truth of the Gospel of Christ. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen (Jude 24,25).