Jesus spoke in parables for a simple reason: in order for the hearers to gain the understanding of spiritual knowledge using life scenarios or narratives. Living in this world, a lot of people struggle to conceptualize spiritual teachings without using a tangible expression as an example. One of the parables Jesus mentioned was about the sower of seeds, which is the focus of this article. The understanding of this parable is very critical to know where you belong, which then helps to determine what you should be doing to get to where God desires for you to be.
In Luke 8: 4-15, Mark 4:1-20, and Matt 13:1-23, Jesus mentioned the 4 types of grounds (which can also be described as the hearts i.e the inner being made up of spirit and soul) that seeds (His word) are scattered on and the outcome (produce) of each type of ground. They are as follows:
- The Path Folks – These are the hearts of people that hear, and then the devil comes to take away the word from their hearts so that they may not believe and be saved. There are several devices or methods the devil uses to achieve this. An example is trying to use logic to understand spiritual principles or finding excuses by being methodological. If Moses applied logical principles to God’s instruction to him to tell the Israelites to keep moving toward the Red Sea, and for him to stretch out his staff, the Israelites would have perished in the hands of Pharaoh’s army. Logically speaking, it would be suicidal to act as instructed, but God does impossible things that logic can never fathom. All you have to be concerned about is ensuring that you are hearing from God (His word) and you trust in Him. God did the heavy lifting and all Moses had to do was to believe in the word he received and act on it. With his conviction, Moses even advised the Israelites to be calm and allow the Lord to fight on their behalf (Ex 14:14). When you receive instruction from God, your heart convicts you to make a choice whether or not to believe in it. This category of people will allow the devil to take away the word they have received, settle for the distraction brought by the enemy to ignore the truth about His word, and end up not believing the message received.
- The Rocky Folks – Interestingly, the people here hear, receive, and welcome the word with joy, but it’s only for a while. Once they face a trial period — which is not a question of if it’s coming, it’s a question of when it comes) — they fall apart by losing their trust in the Lord. Luke 8:13 mentions it’s because the word they received was not deeply rooted in their hearts in the first place. The word of God that is deeply rooted in your heart will bear fruits which will be evident in your character, spoken words, decisions, actions, reactions, etc. James 1:25 describes how not be a listener of the word that forgets, but an active doer. Putting the word of God into practice is evident that His word is deeply rooted in the heart.
- The Thorns – These people hear the word of God, but as they go on their own way they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. The focus for these set people is more earthly than eternal. There are several distractions in this age; for example, social media is supposed to be a platform to connect with people from other regions., however, people use what they see on social media as a measure of where they should be at a particular period of their lives. Seeing old friend’s posts of vacations, the house they reside, cars they drive, or public figures they hang out with may sometimes lead to questioning if are you missing out on life. Because the posts do not give a full narrative about their situation, often times folks are misled. Matt 6:33 makes it clear that we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (your needs) will be given to you also.
- Good Soil – These are people that hear the word of God, they get understanding of it, retain it, and produce fruits by persevering. The volume of the fruits they bear is as much as was sown. A teachable heart is essential to receive an understanding of His word. Don’t think you already know the scriptures so what more can anyone tell you about it; the Pharisees knew the scriptures, but did not have the revelation. Mark 4:25 states, “For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.”