Jesus tells a story about a farmer planting seeds. In this parable, the seeds represent the message of the gospel, Jesus himself: “Everything God wanted to say to the whole world—in a person” (Jesus Storybook Bible). The dirt represents us, people. Some dirt is hard (unresponsive). Some dirt is rocky (impulsive, swayed by circumstances). Some dirt is thorny (dominated by concerns of wealth, status, and comfort). And some dirt is “good soil, those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). The parable of the sower exposes the many sinful ways we respond to Jesus and our need for honest repentance. The only way we can ever hope to be fruit-bearing good soil is by Jesus’ grace and power alone. Hear and hold fast the Word.
4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.