Matthew 13:1-23

The Parable of the Sower, the Seed & the Four Soils
Pastor Jim Thomas


The person of ChristMatthew 1-4
The principles of ChristMatthew 5-7
The power of ChristMatthew 8-12
The parables of ChristMatthew 13

What is a parable?
What is the purpose of the parables of Jesus?

Reveal and Conceal

The disposition of a person’s heart and mind determines whether or not they come to understand what Jesus is saying through His parables. It is not just “he who has ears,” but rather, “he who has ears, let him hear!

Overall themes of the Parables of Jesus:

  • The already-but-not-yet kingdom of Heaven
  • God loves and welcomes us, even though we are sinful
  • Some people respond to God with faith; others respond with unbelief, scorn and/or indifference

The Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soils:

  1. The call to listen: “behold!” (v. 3)
  2. The parable itself (v. 3-9)
  3. The purpose of parables (v. 10-15)
  4. The blessedness of having eyes/ears of faith (v. 16-17)
  5. The meaning of this parable (v. 18-23)

Who does the sower represent?
What does the seed represent?

“The Holy Scriptures tell us what we could never learn any other way: they tell us what we are, who we are, how we got here, why we are here and what we are required to do while we remain here.”
– A.W. Tozer

What do the various kinds of soil represent?

  • Road-hardened soil
    • hears/rejects/hardens
    • We need to beware the incremental hardening of our hearts. Our desperate need to continually break up the fallow, uncultivated ground of our hearts and remain teachable and reachable.
  • Rocky and shallow soil
    • hears/raves/caves
    • When we become aware of our spiritual shallowness the best response is to cultivate healthy soil by the removal of any obstacles to our faith and mix in additional good soil.
  • Thorn-choked soil
    • hears/easily distracted/easily deceived
    • When our faith is being choked out by anxieties and deceitfulness, the bestresponse is some spiritual “weed and feed.”
  • Good soil
    • keeps hearing/learns/bears fruit

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night.
And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
– Psalm 1:1-3

Which kind of soil represents your heart today?

  • Road-hardened soil
  • Rocky and shallow soil
  • Thorn-choked soil
  • Good soil

“Jesus’ explanation of the parable focuses on the different types of hearers and the fact that it is the prepared soil that is capable of bearing a rich harvest. Sowers must sow indiscriminately, but hearers must be careful to ensure that they are rich soil, capable of receiving and nurturing the seed, which his the word of God.” – Joe M. Kapolyo, Africa Bible Commentary

“The greatest single secret of spiritual development lies in personal, humble, believing, obedient response to the Word of God. It is as God speaks to us through His Word that His warnings can bring us to conviction of sin, His promises to assurance of forgiveness, and His commands to amendment of life. We live and grow by His Word.” – John Stott

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