Summary: The parable of the sower.
Series: Stories from the Kingdom
Text: Luke 8:4-16
Title: “Spreading the Word of God”
• What is a parable?
o It is an earthly story that uses common life situations to illustrate biblical truths about the Kingdom of God.
• Jesus was not interested in just telling entertaining stories, but wanted to illustrate the truth of God’s word in a way that was easy to remember and easy to understand.
I. The Telling of the Parable (4-8)
• The parable begins with a person who is going out to sow seeds on his plot of ground.
• “and as he sowed” is a present tense verb meaning this was foreseen as a continual action.
o It was understood by this person that the act of sowing was something that he would have to continue to do, season after season, year after year.
4 Types of Soil
1. “some fell by the wayside.”
o This does not mean that some of the seed fell out of his pocket unawares while he walked down the road.
o Commonly there were walking paths that cut directly through a person’s field that were used by anyone and everyone.
Matthew 12:1 (NASB95)
1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.
2. “some fell upon rock.”
o This would have been solid rock that was covered with a thin layer of soil and vegetation.
o It would have appeared to be good soil from a distance.
3. “some fell among thorns.”
o This was good soil, but there would have also been a lot of competition for nutrients between the seeds and the thorns and other weeds.
4. “other fell on good ground.”
o Rich fertile soil where the seed would be able to grow up into maturity.
4 Fates of the Seed
1. Wayside because the ground was hard from all the foot traffic, the seed was not even able to penetrate the soil; therefore was eaten up by birds.
2. Rock it started to sprout in the thin soil, but soon burnt up because the roots were not able to go deep enough to find moisture.
3. Thorns these seeds sprouted and began to grow, but were chocked out because the thorns were better adapted at stealing nutrients and water from the healthy plants, and they also died.
4. Good ground not only were these seeds able to grow, but they were productive and bore fruit, a hundred fold.
II. The Reason for the Parable (10)
• That the followers of Christ would be able to understand the truths of the Kingdom of God.
• Also to reveal how those who reject Christ and His message are not able to understand even the simple truths of God explained in parables.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB95)
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Matthew 13:13-17 (NASB95)
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
III. The Explanation of the Parable (11-15)
• The seed is the word of God
o The work of the farmer can be seen first as the work of Christ as He delivered the word of God. (The disciples were perplexed at the lack of following and understanding about the Messiah)
o Also it speaks to us here today as we continue to spread the word, cultivate it and help it grow in the lives and hearts of people.
4 Kinds of People
1. Vs. 12 Those who hearts are so hardened that Satan snatches it away before it even has a chance.
o In this type of person the word of God is openly and totally rejected.
2. Vs. 13 Those who hear the word and take it, but it remains a superficial understanding and therefore is forgotten after a short time.