The parable of the sower

Last updated on April 20, 2021


“And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow.’” (Matthew 13:3)

Jesus was teaching people about God’s Kingdom. He often did this through parables. These were short, simple stories about daily life that had a deeper meaning. Each parable contained some spiritual lesson, but these lessons were not always easy to grasp. It was even Jesus’ intention that only people who were really open to learn from God, would understand the parables. Grasping the truth about God’s Kingdom requires careful listening.

The parable we read today, is recorded in all three synoptic gospels. It is about a sower who went out to sow. The seeds fell in different places: on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, and on good soil. The resulting growth and produce (or lack thereof) was not dependent on the quality of the seed, but on the quality of the soil.

We will study the different kinds of soil later on, but for now we focus on the sower and the seed. Jesus makes clear that “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). When this word is preached, it is “sown” into people’s hearts. The sower in the parable is Jesus Himself, who was sent to preach the good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 4:43). But this sowing was not limited to the time when Jesus was physically present on earth.

Can you think of some occasions where God’s Word is “sown” nowadays?

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