Parable of the Sower

Seeds of God’s word are being scattered throughout the world. Few hearts allow them to take root and achieve the productivity and success only a disciple of the Kingdom can achieve.

Overview

Context

Bible Passages: Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23; Mark 4:1-9; 13-23; Luke 8:4-8; 11-15

The sower

The seed

The soil

  • Pathway – No receptivity
  • Stony soil – Biased receptivity
  • Thorny soil – Dispersed receptivity
  • Good soil – Focussed receptivity

How about us?

Context

This parable comes straight off the heals of Jesus condemning the pharisees and religious leaders and makes the comment –

“Who is my mother brother? – those who hear and understand the word”.

Jesus then talks of different types of people who receive the word differently.

Bible Passage

Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 

Bible Passage/s continued

Matthew 13:6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Bible Passage/s continued

Matthew 13:18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Bible Passage/s continued

Matthew 13:18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

The Sower

The sower, or farmer, scatters seeds everywhere. He does not avoid certain places. He knows that where it does take root it will be very productive and is very liberal with scattering the seed.

Jesus was the first sower of the kingdom message. We are to follow suit in His service.

As we sow Christ’s word, no prejudice should stop us. Jesus sowed everywhere – even to the hard hearted religious leaders.

The Seed

The seed is the word of God. The word proclaiming the message of the kingdom – the gospel. This is that little tidbit that creates huge transformation.

  • It stimulates faith
  • It grows love
  • It catapults a weak struggling life to a powerful impactful one.

The Soil

Pathway – unreceptive – unbelievers or those who have rejected Christ. Non Christians or religious Christians without relationship.

Stony ground – partially receptive – shallow faith

Thorny soil – receptive but unable to sustain and grow the faith and love.

Good soil – receptive and productive.

Seed on Path – no receptivity

The Word reaches them, but they are tuned off.

They could be religious Christians – focussed on externals, good deeds and tradition

Or they could be believers in another faith

Result – No fruit

Seed on Path – no receptivity

Seed on Rocky soil – Biased Receptivity

They may be people with multiple faiths including Christians

They may be Christians who are only partially following God’s word and path and resistant to changing some aspects of their lives.

They may be following wrong doctrines in line with their false beliefs

Result – No fruit

Seed on Rocky soil – Biased Receptivity

Seed on Thorny soil – Dispersed receptivity

They want Christ and the world. They may be often too busy to give Christ the time they need to.

They have lost their first love.

They are unable to prioritize what is important.

Result – no fruit

 

Seed on Thorny soil – Dispersed receptivity

Seed on Good soil – Focused receptivity

The sower’s effort is never wasted. The few hearts who receive God’s word are growing believers.

They reproduce several times what they receive.

They are highly productive – 30-100 times multiplied investment.

Seed on Good soil – Focused receptivity

How about us?

Jesus gives a strong message here.

Those with shallow faith or mixed priorities have NO fruit.

There is no place for compromise in the Christian life.

There could be Christians in all four categories

But the true growing believers – the ones God in God’s family, are only in the fourth category. The others may not even realize that they are unproductive in God’s sight.

God’s word is always productive

Isaiah 55:10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, 11so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.

God’s word is always productive

Discussion

1.Discuss examples of works people may do which appear to give fruit but actually are fruitless?

2.How can we ensure that we are fruitful?

3.How can we sow the right seed?

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