Let’s look at this precious parable, considering the four different soils one at a time.  After each one, we will look at the words the Lord used to explain this parable.  We are reading of a sower and the seed that he sowed:

Matthew 13:3-5, “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.”

Matthew 13:19, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” The Lord explains how the seed is the ‘word of the kingdom.’  The seed that fell by the wayside is like when one hears the Word of God, but Satan snatches that word out of his ear before he has a chance to truly understand what the Lord is saying to him in His Word.

Matthew 13:5-6, “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”

Matthew 13:20-21, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”  The Lord explains here how that the seed that falls upon stony ground is like one who hears the Word and likes the sound of what it says, but it does not find root in his heart.  When pressures of this life and hard times come, for tribulation and persecutions are promised to the believer, because he does not understand, he is offended or stumbled.  Because the Word has not found any place to take root in his heart, he has no true concept of what it means to be a believer.  He has no understanding of the words of the Lord when He tells us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).  This is too strange to this man and soon he has no desire for the Lord.

Matthew 13:7, “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.”

Matthew 13:22, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”  The Lord tells us that this man is too concerned with ‘the care of this world’.  He loves the world too much to forsake it and turn to the Lord.  The value of the Word is choked out by the value he places on the world and its riches.  I’m reminded of the rich young ruler in Matthew 10.  He longed for eternal life, but after speaking with the Lord Jesus and realizing the cost of being a disciple, we read in verse 22, “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

Matthew 13:8, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

Matthew 13:23, “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Here, the Lord explains that when the seed fell into good ground it is like someone who earnestly listens to the Word of God, he understands the value of it, it enters his heart, and he produces fruit for the Lord.  THIS IS A SAVED MAN               !

Notice in our parable that in each case, it is the same sower and the same seed being sowed.  The difference is not in the sower or the seed.  The difference is in the soil.  It was in the ‘good ground’ where the seed took root and produced fruit.  Good ground is that which has been plowed and watered.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit to plow our hearts, water the seed, and give increase.  We read in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”  The Lord will use believers to plant the seed and to water the seed planted. Only He can give the increase. 

The Lord in His great mercy will cause the seed to be cast everywhere…by the wayside, on stony ground, and among thorns.  He wants us to be saved.  He wants us to heed His Word and allow His Spirit to convince us of the truth of the Gospel.  The Lord Jesus says of the work of the Spirit, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8).

My friend, have you realized your need of the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior?  Do you understand that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself?  Do you know the Lord Jesus wants to save you?  He invites all to come to Him in faith and rest in His love and His power to save.  He pleads with you in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  (CC)  (519.4)