7637 - The Parable of the Sower


In our study of Luke today we will be looking at the parable of the sower from Luke 8:5-15:

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
"`though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.' "

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

The setting of this parable is in a field in the countryside with a well worn path running through it, and the thing that’s being explored in this parable is not the sower or the seed, but the soil which represents people.

The first site is speaking about seeds which fall upon the hard, packed soil of the pathway. This is a bad place for seed, because as people walk along the path their feet break open the seed, and it is exposed and more available for the birds to eat. It has no opportunity to take root and grow.
The soil on the path is hard, just like some people. The birds are symbolic of the devil who comes to steal the Truth that has been sowed there and take it away before any seed has an opportunity to take root.

The second site is rocky ground. This seems to be on rocks or maybe a little soil on top of a rocky base. There’s no moisture because it evaporates quickly from the sparse soil. So, although the seed may sprout, it quickly wilts because of the lack of moisture.

The rocky place represents people who receive the Word of God eagerly and with joy, yet they have no depth or foundation in their faith; so when a test or trial comes along they fall away without producing any fruit.

The third site where seeds fall is soil which already has a growth of thorns in it. So the sprouting seeds are competing for nourishment and room to grow. The result is that the tender new sprouts are choked by the thornbushes, which in this area could grow up to 6 feet high with major root systems.

The soil covered with thornbushes represents people who are preoccupied with life’s worries over material things like life’s worries, wealth and personal pleasure. So the newly received Word is soon pushed aside and never comes to maturity.

Then there’s the good soil. It’s loose and fertile and just waiting to produce a crop.

Most people understand the good soil as being people who receive God’s Word, treasure it, meditate on it extending roots to persevere and continue in the face of storms to produce a crop.

Each of the seeds cast by the sower has all of the potential and ability to sprout and germinate, and they are sown by the Lord with abundance into every available area, so that every receptive location will sprout new and productive life. Each of us must see to it that our lives are receptive to the Lord’s Truth and his offer of salvation and new life inside of us.