3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear."
18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
1. What is "the message about the kingdom" that people are hearing and some are failing to understand? (vs.19)
2. What is the crop produced thirty, sixty or a hundred fold? What constitutes fruitfulness? What is the fruit? (vs. 23)
3. Can we prepare the soil so it will be good and, therefore, able to "understand" the seed? (vs. 23)
4. Notice the power of the evil one in snatching away the seed (vs. 19). This reminded me of Jesus' words in John 10 where he talks about the thief.
10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
5. Verse 22 talks about the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choking the seed, resulting in an unfruitful life. In what ways do riches and the worries of life keep us from being fruitful?
6. Jesus mentioned 4 types of soil and their explanations. Which soil do you consider yourself? If you were the teacher giving this story to your class of students or your own children would you add any other types of soil? What would you add and what would be your explanation?
7. Referring to verse 9, what do you 'hear' when you read this parable? What lesson does it have for you? Is it the same lesson Jesus meant to convey to those who heard him that day?