Summary: Jesus teaches in this parable about the SOWER, the SEED, the SOIL, and the STATE you are in. Is the soil of your heart prepared?

Matthew 13:1-9

How Good is the Dirt in Your Life?

Introduction - My wife and were enjoying a cruise on a recent vacation. At the dinner table that second evening, that dreaded question came up regarding my occupation. (Now I am not ashamed of being a minister, but telling people I am a minister will erect walls that cannot be scaled) I replied that I would tell them what I did if they could answer a riddle that described my occupation. I stated that, “I am the captain of a ship that never leaves port, a shepherd of sheep that are not sheep, an educator of people that are not in school, and I work in futures that are not in the stock market.” Eventually, someone guessed that I was a preacher.

Jesus was a master of parables. He used the ordinary to describe the extraordinary. Those who were blind spiritually could not “see” the answer.

Today, we have before us a marvelous parable that Jesus describes. Let’s examine God’s Word on what this parable means.

Jesus had many people, including his family, questioning his sanity and safety. He was so busy serving those he came to save. So much so that he eventually had to get in a boat to teach where he gave us this parable.

As we examine this parable you will notice four things about it.

First there is…


In verse three, Jesus describes the one doing the scattering of the seed. He is the sower. There are several ways to describe him.

First, he is CREDIBLE. He is the truth giver. Jesus always told the truth and confronted that which was hypocrisy.

Second, he is PERSISTENT. Regardless of what people thought or what society taught, Jesus was persistent. He continually sowed truth to those that either accepted or rejected it. He stayed the course.

And third, he is DEPENDABLE. Jesus went about doing the Father’s business. He worked in extreme circumstances. You could and can count on Jesus!

Illustration - The sower

The story is told of a young man who had just started his new job in the produce department of a grocery store, when a woman came up to him asking to buy a half head of lettuce.

As politely as he could, the young man said that “In this store, we don’t sell half heads of lettuce, we sell whole heads of lettuce.” The lady was remarkably persistent—obnoxiously so. And so in the end, he did what any young produce department grocery store lad would do, and said, “Well, let me go talk to the manager.”

The young man shuffles off to find the manager in the back of the store, not realizing that the woman is following him some distance behind. He gets to the manager, and says in frustration, “I’ve got this crazy old woman out there who wants to buy a half head of lettuce.

Seeing the look of consternation on his manager’s face, the lad realizes all of a sudden that the woman is standing right behind him. He turns and quick as a whip and says, “And this nice lady wants to buy the other half.”

Later that day, the manager complimented him on his very quick thinking, and in the course of the conversation said to the young man, “Where do you come from, where is your home?” “Well,” said the young man, “I’m from Toronto, home of beautiful hockey players and ugly women.” The manager’s face dropped once again as he said, “I’ll have you know, my wife is from Toronto.” Quick as a whip the young man turned around and said, “And what hockey team did you say she plays on?”

What we say and what we do sows seed of information about us and our Savior. God demands a life of holiness from you because he has given his only Son. Jesus expects us to be the sower of the seed until he returns!

Second there is…


In verse four, we see the seed that is being spread. It is the seed of God’s kingdom. It is salvation to all that desire it. Notice these three aspects of the seed.

It is the WORD of God. It is the Living Word…Jesus. He is the only way to eternal life. John 14:6. The Word is also the written Word of Life. The Bible is God’s love letter to you. He wants you to know him through his Son.

It is also the WORK of God. This work is the action he takes through the lives of others. A radically changed life reveals the work of God. It is powerful, personal and perpetual. He never leaves us alone.

And then we see the WITNESS of God. This witness is the testimony of those whose lives are changed. Do you have a life-changing testimony? If not, get one! They come from the Master!

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