In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes the four different categories people fall into once they heard the Word: those who are immediately against it, those who are shaky in faith, those who are distracted from their faith by earthly desires, and those who bear the fruit of the word of God and prosper. Jesus goes on to explain in Matthew 13:18 the meaning of this parable, but it is first important to understand who the sower, the seed, and the soils represent before attempting to decipher the parable. In this case, the sower is Jesus and the seed is the Word of God, while the soils are the people to whom the Word of God is shared with.
Matthew 13:4 says the following about the first group of people who hear God’s message: “And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.” This is referring to the group of people who hear the word and do not accept it. Perhaps this group of people are set in their ways or are turned off by religion but whatever the reason may be, the Word of God makes no difference in the lives of these people and they do not grow spiritually. The birds in this parable could represent Satan or the sins that keep these people from following Christ.
Moving on to the second part of the parable, Matthew 13:5, “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away,” this is referring to the group of people who show interest in God’s Word but are not firm believers. Saint Augustine once said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” There are some people who delve deeper into their faith when challenges arise, and others who retreat further from it, some turning their back on God altogether. Jesus is saying that those who turn their back on God once something challenges their faith, never had a firm understanding of God or his word in the first place. Jesus is not saying that those with unshakeable faith will never face challenges, but instead proclaiming that those who believe with all their heart and soul will persevere and reap the benefits of what they sow.
The third group Jesus refers to in Matthew 13:7 is, “Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.” Jesus goes on to clarify what he means in Matthew 13:22, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.” The thorns represent earthly and materialistic desires that many succumb to. This group of people has something or a lot of things that serve as distractions and keep them from developing their faith and spirituality.
This leads me to the last group of people Jesus describes in the parable. Matthew 13:8 says “Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” This group is obviously the most receptive to the message of the Lord. They allow the Word to work its way into their lives and they reap the most benefits from it when they live by the word of the Lord. This group of people are not only saved, but they also have the potential to do the most good in life. Because the Word of God has changed their lives, they will then go on to spread the Word to others and the message spreads tenfold.
In conclusion, the Parable of the Sower’s ultimate message is to convince those who are wavering in their faith to become stronger in their faith because believing in God and becoming Christ-like is the only path to salvation. According to Bible Study Tools, “Jesus spoke the Parable of the Sower to teach how important the state of our heart is to receiving the Gospel and how our salvation is proved by our choices and actions after hearing the Gospel.” Jesus even says “Let anyone with ears listen!” but because we as people are so different not all of us have the same reaction to hearing God’s word. Only through faith can good soil bring forth grain, or in simpler terms, only through faith can things like love, peace, and compassion spring up while sins like lust, gambling, and drinking fade away. The Parable of the Sower is a perfect example of Christ teaching his followers what to do with the Word of God once shared with them.
This blog post was originally an essay I wrote for one of my world literature classes earlier this semester. I’m really proud of it so I thought I would share.