The Parable of the Sower

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This parable begins with the words, “Behold, a sower went out to sow…” (Matthew 13:3). The sower is the Lord who gives us seeds of truth through His Word. These seeds have great potential to sprout and grow in our lives. As in the parable of the sower, the Lord spreads the seeds of truth, making them available to everyone, offering spiritual life and light to all. But He gives us the freedom to receive His truths as we will, and the parable of the sower pictures four kinds of reception. Only those whose minds are good ground will be able to nurture these precious seeds so they may bear fruit.

The Story

Read about the parable of the Sower in one of these gospels:

  • Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
  • Mark 4:3-20
  • Luke 8:4-15

Reading the story with children

Consider asking the children to gather seeds and fruit to display as you read the Lord’s Word. You might also want to have a container of hard earth (wayside), a stone, a weed with thorns, and a plant pulled from the ground to reveal the roots to show the children in connection with this story.

Ideas for Discussion

  1. The Lord told the parable of the sower while sitting in a boat on the sea. What is a parable? (A story with a deeper meaning.) What is a sower? (A person who throws seed onto the ground to grow something.)
  2. The sower threw seed onto four kinds of ground: the wayside, stony ground, among thorns, and on good ground. What happened to the seeds in each place?
  3. The Lord is the sower of truth. He plants true ideas from His Word in our minds. Just as the sower spreads his seeds over various kinds of earth, the Lord makes His truth available to all people—not just those who will use it to bear good fruit.
  4. We may find ourselves more or less receptive of the truths of the Word at different times of our lives. Or we may find ourselves more receptive of some seeds than others. When might it be challenging for us to be “good ground” for seeds of truth?
  5. The parable is similar in the three gospels, but there are some differences. In Mark, the Lord explains that the sower is sowing the Word (Mark 4:9). And in Luke, He explains that the seeds falling on good ground picture people who hear the Word with a good heart, keep it, and “bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). What might it mean to hear the Word with a good heart, keep it, and “bear fruit with patience”? (see Luke 8:15).
  6. What are some truths that you would like to “cultivate” in your mind and bring to fruit in your life?

Read more about the Parable of the Sower

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