The Parables of Jesus
Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23; Mark 1-20; Luke 8:5-8, 11-15


Parable of the Sower

Mark 1-8
  1.   And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he
        entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
  2.   And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
  3.   Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
  4.   And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
  5.   And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no
        depth of earth:
  6.   But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
  7.   And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
  8.   And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some
        thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

Verse 1 - And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he
  entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
 
  [A] The sea that Jesus was teaching beside was the sea of Tiberias.
          [1] Also known as:
                  [a] The sea of Galilee
                  [b] The lake of Gennesareth
                  [c] The lake of Cimmereth
          [2] Description of the lake
                  [a] The Jordan passes through it from north to south.  
                  [b] It is twelve to fourteen miles long,
                  [c] It is six to seven miles wide
                  [d] It is 165 feet deep
  
  [B] There was gathered a great multitude
          [1] It always amazes me how there always seemed to be a multitude of people around Jesus.
                  [a] Why is it so hard to get people to come out and hear about Jesus today?
          [2] No matter where he was, nor the time he was present, people came to hear him

  [C] Because of the multitude he entered into a ship and sat in the sea
          [1] Apparently because the crowd was so large, Jesus entered a boat, and pushed out a bit from land where
                  he preached from aboard the boat.
          [2] Because the shore around the lake slopes downward to the water, Jesus preaching from a boat had the
                  effect of a natural auditorium, possibly even a breeze was coming off the water as so often happens,
                  carrying his voice to the people so they could hear.

Verse 2 - And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

  [A] We have recorded only one parable that Jesus taught the people that day, but according to verse two, he
          taught them many things by parable

Verse 3 - Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

  [A] Hearken
          [1] What does this word mean?
                  [a] To hearken to something means to pay attention to
                  [b] To hearken to something means to listen to
          [2] Jesus was telling the people
                  [a] Listen up – there is something I am going to tell you
                  [b] Pay attention – you need to hear this

  [B]  A sower went out to sow
          [1] What is a sower?
                  [a] One who sows seeds
          [2] How did the sower sow the seeds?
                  [a] He broadcast them by hand,
                  [b] He scattered them over the ground

Verse 4-8
  4.   And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
  5.   And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because had no
        depth of earth:
  6.   But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
  7.   And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
  8.   And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some
        thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

  [A] I am not going to say much about these verses because Jesus interprets them in the next group of verses.

  [B] What we do need to know is that the sower who went out to plant the seed, planted in a way that was common
          to all who planted.
          [1] He carried the seeds with him, probably in a bag or a basked of some sort
          [2] He took the seeds in his hands, and spread them out over the ground
          [3] Some fell by the wayside, and the birds ate them
          [4] Some fell on shallow soil and when it grew up, the sun scorched it and it died because it had no roots to
                  get water from the ground
          [5] Some fell among the thorns and the thorns chocked out the good seed
          [6] Some fell on fertile soil and grew and produced much fruit

Mark 4:9-20
  9.   And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
  10. And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
  11. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are
        without, all these things are done in parables:
  12. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time
        they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
  13. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
  14. The sower soweth the word.
  15. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh
        immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
  16. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word,
        immediately receive it with gladness;
  17. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution
        ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
  18. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
  19. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke
        the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
  20. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth
        fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Verse 9 - And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear..

  [A] Jesus ended his discourse, and the parable with the multitude by saying - He that hath ears to hear, let him
          hear.

  [B] He began it by saying, listen up, and ended it by telling them if they had ears they should hear.
          [1] What did he mean when he said He that hath ears to hear, let him hear?”
                  [a] There is more to hearing something than just hearing the words,
                  [b] Hearing without doing is virtually useless to the hearer, and the effort the speaker made to deliver
                  the message is virtually wasted.
          [2] Jesus wanted them and us to understand
                  [a] Listen up now, pay attention to what I’m going to say to you
                  [b] Now I told you, you have head my words, be sure you do them.
          [3] Of course, I’m sure that most of the people, like the disciples, did not understand what he meant, but they
                  like the disciples could have asked.

Verse 10 - And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

  [A] When the disciples were alone with Jesus, they asked him what the parable meant.

  [B] I believe he would have told the people as well if they would have only asked.

  [C] Sometimes things happen, or we read things in the bible we don’t understand, when this happens, what
          should we do?
          [1] We should knock, seek and ask
                  [a] Knock - call upon heaven in prayer
                  [b] Seek – look into God’s Holy Word and study
                  [c] Ask – ask God for understanding and for wisdom – We have not because we ask not
          [2] Does God want us to understand?
                  [a] He wanted the disciples to understand, and we are his disciples

Verse 11 - And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that
  are without, all these things are done in parables:
  
  [A] Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God
          [1] Christ wanted his disciples to understand
          [2] He wanted them to understand the mysteries of God
                  [a] We as followers of Jesus are one of his disciples,
                  [b] Because we are a disciple of Jesus, he wants us to understand as well
          [3] The disciples were told because they asked him
                  [a] If we refuse to ask, he will refuse to tell us
                  [b] If any lack wisdom, let them ask and it will be given unto them

  [B] Unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables
          [1] Who are those who are without?
                  [a] The unbeliever
                  [b] The unsaved
                  [c] Those who do not follow Jesus
          [2] Christ wants his disciples to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but those who are without are not
                  given the interpretation because they do not believe in the kingdom of God in the first place, what good
                  would the knowledge give them
  
  [C] Unto those who are without he speaks in parables – Why is this so?
          [1] When there is a story told, it makes a person think
                  [a] I wonder what he means by that
                  [b] Is it possible that it means so and so
          [2] By speaking in parables, he created a question in their minds
                  [a] Some thought he was a nut/
                  [b] Others became hungry and wanted to know the answer
                  [c] Others wanted to know more

Verse 12 - That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any
  time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
  
  [A]
Mt 13:13 says is a little clearer
          [1] Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not,
                  neither do they understand.

  [B] There really is no difference in the two verses, both mean the same thing
          [1] Although the people understood the parable in the natural sense, understood how the seeds were
                  planted, and how some fell in the wrong areas and some the proper places, they did not understand
                  the spiritual aspect of it
          [2] It was Christ’s desire for the people to believe in him first, and to follow him,
                  [a] Once this happened, he would send the Holy Spirit, and He would show them all things
                  [b] This is how we get our understanding,
                          [1-a] We are to ask God for understanding and wisdom
                          [2-a] We are to study to show ourselves approved
                          [3-a] We are to allow the Holy Spirit to open our heart and eyes to understanding
                          [4-a] We are to be open to his interpretation, careful that we do not stop him or quench him by
                                  what little knowledge we already possess

Verse 13 - And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

  [A] If you don’t knot the interpretation to this parable, Jesus asked, how will you know the interpretation to the      
          others?

Verse 14 - The sower soweth the word.

  [A] The sower is the word of God, which is spread throughout the land

  [B] It is sowed to all people, in all areas, regardless of where they are or what they believe
          [1] Our job is to spread the word – sowing it everywhere we can
          [2] God’s Job is to make it grow.

Verse 15 - And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh
  immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

  [A] The wayside is the path along the field.
          [1] It may be dirt but there is no depth to it
          [2] The seeds take root, but the roots are not deep therefore they die

  [B] The Gospel has to be engrained in a person, filling their heat with it’s truths,
          [1] Just to go through the motions of receiving Jesus is not enough
          [2] Just having one’s name on a church role is not enough
          [3] Unless a person is serious when they come to Jesus chances are, they will not make it
          [4] Unless a person is determined to study and learn all they can from Jesus, Satan will tear them up and
                  cast them aside.

  [C] Satan cometh immediately
          [1] No truer words have ever been spoken
                  [a] When a person accepts Jesus and determines in their heart to follow him, Satan does everything in
                          his power to bring you down
                  [b] Those first weeks are terrible, and they don’t get much better as time goes on
          [2] Unless a person is well grounded in Christ, and constantly growing in him, Satan is likely to pluck them
                  out and destroy them – taking away the word that was sown in their heart

Verse 16-17 - And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word,      
  immediately receive it with gladness - And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward,
  when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

  [A] The same holds true for those sown on stony ground,
          [1] The seeds grows, but there is no root
          [2] The sun comes out and the seed, because it is not embedded in the ground far enough dies

  [B] The rock here represent hardships in life.
          [1] When a person receives the gospel, and it is not fully embedded in them they often fall away from the
                  lord when troubles come
          [2] These are those who believe in their heart that they ought to have a better life because they believe in
                  Jesus.
                  [a] Is this the case?
                  [b] Should we expect life to be easier when we are a Christian?
          [3] When persecution comes, these are easily offended

Verse 18-19- And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world,
  and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh
  unfruitful.

  [A] The thorns represent the things of the world – the things we lust after,
          [1] New cars,
          [2] New homes
          [3] Riches
          [4] Fame
          [5] Worldly things
   
  [B] When these things become overly important in one’s life, they tend to choke out the good and override them
          with the bad
          [1] The things of the world are more important than God
          [2] The desire to have them, overrides the desire to follow Jesus
          [3] They choke out our beliefs and or desire to follow God

Verse 20 - And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth
  fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

  [A] Here is where we all want to be
          [1] In good ground
          [2] With our roots firmly in that ground
          [3] With our roots embedded deeply so that we can receive nourishment and water to survive on
          [4] With our bodies strong and healthy, so that we can bear fruit
          [5] Bearing fruit so that we will be fulfilling the great commission as commanded by Jesus

  [B] The word of God, does no-one any good unless we act upon it, and follow what it says.

  [C] Our goal should be to
          [1] Be sure we are right with Jesus
                  [a] In our heart, we know if we have accepted Jesus
                  [b] In our heart we know if we are living the way he told us to live
                  [c] In our heart we know if we are ready to meet Jesus
          [2] Be sure we are planted in fertile ground
                  [a] We need to make sure we are being fed properly,
                          [1-a] We need to be in a bible teaching Church
                          [2-a] We need to be in regular bible study
                          [3-a] We need to be reading and studying our bibles regularly
                          [4-a] We need to be in prayer on a regular basis
                          [5-a] We need to be careful no to let the weeds of sin enter our lives
                  [b] Unless we are in fertile ground, we will die, and be lost forever
          [3] Be sure we are receiving the proper nutrients
                  [a] Is the things you are hearing in your church match what the bible teaches?
                  [b] Are you being fed the word of God?
                  [c] Are you going home feeling like it was worth your while to go to church?
                  [d] Are the things you are watching on TV feeding you or taking from you?
                  [e] Are the things you are reading feeding you or taking from you?
          [4] Be sure to weed the garden and keep out the weeds
                  [a] Do you search your heart and soul, to determine if there are things you need to rid yourself of?
                  [b] Is there any whom you do not love?
                  [c] Is there any secret sins harboring in your life?

          [D] Or goal should be to be as much like Jesus as we possibly can.