Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
“He saw a large crowd and had compassion on them… Then he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34
The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed secrets of God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10-13.)
The parable of the sower would have resonated with those listening because they would have been familiar with the practice of sowing or planting seeds. But the parable had a deeper meaning. It contained a lesson about God’s Word and the responses of those who hear it.
In the parable, a sower’s seeds fell in four different places. Some of the seeds fell along the path, where they were eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground. Those seeds had no roots, so they withered in the sun. Other seeds fell among thorns, and they were choked out. Other seeds fell on good soil, and they produced a crop—a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was planted.
After Jesus told the parable, He explained it to His disciples. The soil represents people’s hearts, and the seed is the word about God’s kingdom. The person whose heart is like the hard soil hears the good news about God, but he does not understand it or he rejects it. The person whose heart is like the rocky soil is quick to receive the truth, but when life gets hard, he falls away. The person whose heart is like the thorny soil cares more about the things of the world than the good news about God, and the seed cannot grow. The person whose heart is like the good soil hears the good news about God and receives it. He bears fruit, more than what was planted. In the life of a believer, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is evident.
Jesus is the Sower who shared the truth about God’s kingdom. His followers continue to share the truth today, and those who understand and accept the gospel become more like Jesus.
- Still today, people respond to the gospel in various ways. Pray that God will give your kids receptive hearts so that they will hear, understand, and be changed by the good news about Jesus.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Mark 6:34
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
BIBLE STORY: PARABLE OF THE SOWER
- Jesus told a story to teach people about sharing the good news about God with others.
- The story was about a farmer planting seeds.
- Only the seeds planted in good soil grew strong and healthy.
- Jesus taught that not all people will believe in Him.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- What did the story Jesus told about the seeds really mean?
- Who can you tell the good news about Jesus?
- Scatter wildflower seeds in a field. Predict which areas the seeds will grow best in.
- Start a community garden. Share produce among neighbors or with a local hunger ministry.
NEXT WEEK “The Unmerciful Servant” (Matthew 18:21-35)