|Aired week of Oct 16-22, 2011
“The Sower and the Soil”
Hi, I'm Don Guthrie and I would like to thank you for joining me today as we look into God’s Holy Word to
learn how to become a better Christian and a faithful witness to the world.
Father, I ask that you anoint me this day with your Holy Spirit that I might speak the words you would have
me speak. I ask that you open our ears and our heart so we can hear the message you have for us, and
understand your Holy Word. I pray this in Jesus name: AMEN.
Today we’ll be looking at another parable of Jesus. We will try to determine what the parable means to us
and how we can apply it to our life. The parable we will be looking at is entitled “The Sower and the Soil.” This
parable is found in three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. I will be taking the scripture for my message
from the book of Matthew, chapter thirteen where I will be reading verses three through nine. Again, that was:
3. When He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4. "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
5. "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because
they had no
depth of earth.
6. "But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
7. "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
8. "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Jesus told this parable while sitting by the seaside. The crowd who had come out to here him speak was so
large that Jesus got into a boat, had the owner shove from the shore, then taught from the boat. It was from
there the He told the parable of the sower. I would imagine that most of the people walked away that day
scratching their head and wondering what Jesus was talking about.
From the scripture we learn that even the Disciples didn’t understand, so they asked him why he spoke in
parables. We find this in verses 10 – 17 of Matthew thirteen, along with Jesus’ answer
10. And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
11. He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of
to them it has not been given.
12. "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even
what he has
will be taken away from him.
13. "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor
14. "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
you will see and not perceive;
15. For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have
closed, Lest they
should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I
should heal them.'
16. "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
17. "for assuredly, 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. have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and
have not heard
Not everyone was supposed to understand him. Not everyone was supposed to see. Many of the people in
the crowd wouldn’t have understood Him if he had spoken in plain simple words. Others wouldn’t have
understood if he’d drawn them a picture. But, the disciples were different. They were supposed to know. They
were supposed to see, and he explained the parable in verses 19 - 23.
19. "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and
away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
20. "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it
21. "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises
because of the
word, immediately he stumbles.
22. "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the
deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
23. "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed
bears fruit and
produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
So here is the interpretation for the parable of the sower. In verses three and four of the scripture we find
that “a sower went forth to sow his seed.” While casting the seed, some of them fell on good ground and some
fell by the way side. Those which fell by the way side fell on ground which hadn’t been prepared for planting, so
the fowls came and ate it.” Jesus interprets this in verse nineteen, by saying, “When one hears the words of the
kingdom, and does not understand them, Satan comes and takes away what was sown in their heart and he is
no better off than he was before.
Let me pause here a moment and say that each of us is one of these things Jesus describes in the parable.
Unfortunately many in the world are like the seeds Jesus is talking g about here. At some tome in their life they
have heard the gospel preached, but they didn’t understand what they heard. If one doesn’t understand the
gospel, no change can occur in their heart. Unless one understands what they are hearing, they cannot know
what God expects of them. If they don’t understand, how can they change? Unless one understands and is
converted, they cannot be saved, therefore it stands to reason that it’s our duty to preach and teach with words
and ways that folks can understand so they can comprehend what they are to do, and then do it.
Some of our pastors today make it very hard for people to understand the message they’re preaching.
Without meaning too, they use words that few if any can understand, making it impossible for some of the
people to understand their teaching.
Some time ago, a preacher told me that he always prepares a message and the children’s story on the
same subject. Often, he said, while he is greeting the people after worship folks would tell him how much they
enjoyed the children’s story and how much they had got from it. Those comments should have told him that his
messages were too complicated but the children’s story was not.
One of the great men of old once said, “A sermon should be preached so the youngest child in the
congregation can understand it,” then he said, “Then everyone will be able to understand it.”
If a message cannot be understood, it’s like seeds falling by the wayside, and the birds coming to eat the
seeds before there’s a chance of them taking root and growing.
Jesus said in verses five and six that, "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and
they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth, but when the sun was up they were scorched,
and because they had no root they withered away.”
Then he went on in verses twenty and twenty one to explain what this meant, “He who received the seed on
stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself,
but endures only for a while. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he
This is one of the most prevalent of the seeds in the time in which we live. Many folks hear the gospel
preached, they repent of their sins, join a church and do well for a time. But as who are followers of Jesus, and
have been for a while knows, trials and tribulations are going to come against us, and when they do, many of
these new Christians will falter and fail.
The people Jesus is describing here are those who have head knowledge but have not allowed the word of
God to take root in their heart. They think because they are attending church and trying to do what’s right, they
shouldn’t have trials in their life. But trials come, and when they do, the little faith these folks has, withers up and
dies because they have no foundation under them. They are not rooted in Jesus. They have not attaches
themselves to a body of believers. They have not become active in bible study and prayer. As a result, they
have nothing to cling to and nothing to keep them from falling.
Jesus said in verse seven, "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. Then
He went on to explain this in verse twenty-two when he said, “He that received the seed among thorns is he that
hears the word; and allows the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word out of them,
and they becomes unfruitful.”
This is describing those who hear the word preached, those who know what is expected of them, but
because they have such a strong desire for the things of the world and always want more, they allow the world
to chock out the things of God and allow it to be replaced with their own lusts and their desires for worldly
The final seed Jesus speaks of is the one hope we all are. Jesus said in verses eight, “But other fell into
good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” Then he goes in to
explain this in verse twenty-three, "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and
understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
It’s my prayer that everyone listening is in this group. This is those who are going to make it into heaven.
This is those who have heard the gospel, took it into their heart and made it a part of their life. This is those who
are following Jesus and living their life for Him. This is those who grow into a mature Christian, and bares fruit
for Christ. Than, like all fruit bearing plants, they produce more seed and those seed then spread to others so
they can begin to bear fruit as well.
Unless the word of God is a part of you, you cannot bare good fruit. Unless the word is real to you and
planted deeply within your soul, Satan will rip it away from you.
Those who receive the real blessing from God are them who are anchored fast too Jesus. I ask you, what
better blessing can one have than knowing that you are part of God’s kingdom and on your way to heaven?
When Jesus sows his seed and they fall on fertile ground, they grow strong root and take hold so the plant can
grow strong. When God’s word takes root in us, we grow in the lord.
This will happen if we open our heart to Jesus and prepare ourselves to receive him. If we are introduced to
Jesus with words we can understand and if the seeds are watered with good teaching, preaching and worship,
they will sprout and take root. With a continued fellowship which cultivates the seed, and with a daily sprinkling
of God’s Holy word, the seed will grow in us. As it grows, we need other Christian men and women around us to
tend the tender plant and protect it until it’s grown strong.
It is their responsibility to feed the person with the gospel of Jesus and love them into the body of Christ.
When the plant is strong enough to stand on its own, it will produce fruit and that person than should tell others
about Jesus and what He has done for them. That person becomes a seed planter and caregiver to those who
have received the seeds of the gospel he has given them. This process continues as one bears fruit, producing
some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
Most of us have heard the gospel preached. We’ve had seeds planted in us. Did those seeds which were
planted in you, fall on fertile ground, or on rocky ground. Are the seeds growing in you, or have you allowed
them to be crowded out by the world or eaten up by Satan. Are the seeds flourishing, or are they dying. It’s my
prayer that they are growing in you, and you are producing fruit for Jesus. You may be the only bible people
around you ever read, and they will read it by the way you live your life and by the words you speak.