Summary: Who are the characters in the parables and what each represents.
Sowing of Seeds
Jesus taught the people using parables. He told short stories using terms that the people were familiar with. These short stories also caused the people to think and to try to reason what Jesus was telling them. Just like today some people were too lazy or too busy to stop and reason out what Jesus was telling them. Others were too stubborn or too prejudiced to hear what Jesus was teaching.
The parable of the farmer sowing the seeds:
2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:
3 "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."
9 Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Let’s look at the last verse first. “He who has ears to hear let him hear.” This is a warning that Jesus is giving us. Have you ever told your child to do something and they just sit there ignoring you? You probably then said in a very stern voice, “Did you hear what I said?” You just gave your child a warning, that they better get up and do what you told them to do. Well, Jesus used this phrase many times in his parables. He is saying, “You had better listen to what I am saying before it is too late.”
During the times of Jesus, they didn’t have the tractors that planted in straight neat rows. The farmer would walk through his fields carrying a bag of seeds. He would grab a hand full and throw the seeds, scattering them where they may fall.
Explanation of the parable:
14 The farmer sows the word.
The farmer represents the person that sows or spreads the Word of God. He may be an evangelist, a preacher, a Sunday teacher or anyone witnessing to others. We all should be farmers sowing the Word everyday.
From the time of Christ until today we are living during the planting season. The harvest comes when Christ comes back for His Church. The harvest is near. Are you ready for it? Are you ready to meet the Lord Jesus Christ? You will meet Jesus one day and that day may be sooner than you expect.
15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Verse 15 tells us that some people are like the soil along the path. Today we have sidewalks made of cement, but during the time of Christ they didn’t have cement, so they walked on the soil. With many people walking along the same path day after day, the soil will become packed and very hard, just like concrete. The seeds fall upon the hard soil, but cannot take root because the soil is too hard.
Many people today hear the Word of God, but their hearts are harden, just like the soil of the path. They hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, but Satan comes and takes the Word from them because they don’t want to change their way of living. They agree that the Word sounds great, but they are not ready to give up the sins in their lives. Satan tells them the lie that they have plenty of time to accept the word later.
We live in a society today where we procrastinate. We go around and put off until tomorrow what we should do today. Have you every said that the grass need to be cut, but I will do it tomorrow? Tomorrow comes and it is raining. By the time to get around to cutting the grass it is about 3 feet tall and it takes you twice as long it cut than if you had cut it when you could have.
Many people treat the Word of God the same way. They say “I will accept Christ tomorrow, because I want to go see this “X-rated” movie tonight”. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Christ may come back bright and early tomorrow. Then it will be to late.
16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.