Helpmewithbiblestudy.org

Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8)

Jesus' sequence of parables on the Kingdom of God

1. The Parable of the Sower is recorded in three different gospels (Matt 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8). When a parable is repeated elsewhere, it is worthwhile to compare each account to glean all the details that will help you understand the figures of speeches and what Jesus is teaching. Record your observations of each section of the parable.


Matthew 13:1-2 (NASB) Mark 4:1-2 (NASB) Luke 8:4 (NASB)
1) That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.
2) And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach. 1) He began to teach again by the sea and such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. 2) And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, 4) When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable:

Observations – who and where?




Matthew 13:3-9 (NASB) Mark 4:3-9 (NASB) Luke 8:5-8 (NASB)
3) And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4) and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 3) "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4) as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. 5) "The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up.
5) Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6) But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 5) Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6) And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 6) Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
7) Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out 7) Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 7) Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out.
8) And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9) He who has ears, let him hear." 8) Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." 9) And He was saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 8) Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Observations – where did the seed land and what was its outcome?




2. Carefully observe Jesus' interpretation of the parable.

Matthew 13:19 (NASB) Mark 4:14 (NASB) Luke 8:11 (NASB)
19) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 14) The sower sows the word. 11) Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.

Observations – what was sown?




Matthew 13:19 (NASB) Mark 4:15 (NASB) Luke 8:12 (NASB)
19) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 15) These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 12) Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.

Observations - what does the soil figuratively represent? What does the first soil by the path represent?




Matthew 13:20-21 (NASB) Mark 4:16-17 (NASB) Luke 8:13 (NASB)
20) The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21) yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 16) In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17) and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 13) Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

Observations - what does the second soil on rocky places represent?




Matthew 13:22 (NASB) Mark 4:18-19 (NASB) Luke 8:14 (NASB)
22) And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 18) And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19) but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 14) The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

Observations - what does the third soil with thorny plants represent?




Matthew 13:23 (NASB) Mark 4:20 (NASB) Luke 8:15 (NASB)
23) And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 20) And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." 15) But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Observations - what does the fourth type of soil, the “good" soil, represent? What is the fruit?




Note: Sometimes it is worthwhile to evaluate if Jesus is teaching a parable as part of a series of parables on a particular subject. A good example of this is a sequence of parables in Matthew 13 when Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God with: the Parable of the Sower, Parable of Weeds, Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast, Parable of the Hidden Treasure and Costly Pearl, and Parable of the Dragnet. As you study each parable, discover what Jesus is saying and whether there is a significance in the order of His presentation!




References:

1. The Parable of the Sower


Copyright © 2023 Helpmewithbiblestudy.org. All rights to this material are reserved. We encourage you to print the material for personal and non-profit use or link to this site. If you find this article to be a blessing, please share the link so that it may rise in search engine rankings.