This may be one of the most well-known parables told be Jesus, but I believe that that is no coincidence. – Jesus often told parables as way of teaching. Parables; a story that teaches us a truth about God or, a story shows us behaviour that pleases God were used often by Jesus as people remember stories. When looking into the parable today, we will look at what happens, an explanation of the events and what lessons Jesus wanted us, and the people listening to him to learn.
If you want to, then the whole story can be read in Matthew 13:1-9,18-23 or by clicking here. This parable is very easy to remember as it consists of four simple parts. ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed’ and ‘as he was scattering the seed’ it fell on different ground.
- Some seed fell along the paths, and the birds came and quickly eat it.
- Some seed fell where there were lots of rocks and not much soil. The plants grew up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, their roots were not deeps enough. When the sun came out, it scorched the plants, they withered and died, ‘because they had no root.’
- Some seeds began to grow where there were thorns, which choked the plants as they grew up.
- Nevertheless, some seed fell on good soil, ‘where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’
Explanation of events:
Along with the story, the explanation is a rather simple one compared with other parables in Gospels. The farmer or sower in the story represents Jesus. The seeds which he sows are the Good News of salvational for all people (Ephesians 4). Just like the early disciples of Jesus were told to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’, the farmer in the story, sows the seeds in many places.
Each place where the seeds fall represents different people in today’s society. Below are the four location again, with an explanation of what they represent and what result the Good News had with them.
- First, of the all the seeds that fell on the paths and were eaten by the birds. Unfortunately, this represents so many people in the world today. I’d love to hear your view in the comment section below, but these seeds are the people that hear the news of God and his son Jesus, but pay no attention to it at all. They continue in their selfish ways and do not change their behaviour to please God; the one who the paid the price for your freedom (John 3:16), so high you could never pay it.
- Next, there are the seeds which grew up but died in the heat of the sun. I believe here the important message is often overlooked. They died because ‘their roots were not deeps enough’. As Christians who have heard the message and start to grow in our relationship with God., this parable teaches us to make strong foundations, so that when storms come, will not have the same fate as the seeds. You can read about growing strong foundations with the Lord and his Holy Spirit which is always here to support you, by clicking here (You are not alone… – RCG).
- After those seeds, the farmer sowed somewhere were weeds. This represents that some people don’t have time, or want to make time for Jesus in their lives. They may have been a Christian, but as the grow up, like the plants other people, like ‘the thorns… grew up and choke the plants.’
- Finally, Jesus ends his teaching to us with the seeds which ‘fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’ Not only did it grow, but it took on the role of spreading the message of hope to all people.
Respond & Reflect:
Which seed are you? Where are you with you relationship with God? This parable teaches us a lot about ourselves. But also, we must consider what type of soil we are. Do you willing accept God into your life? Are you ready to make a change?
I hope you have learnt a lot from this post and are looking forward to other posts on the parables coming soon. If there are any suggestions you have or views on this parable, type them in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to respond. If you haven’t already, click here to read the first post in this series on Jesus’ parables, all about interoperation the Bible.