The Parable Of The Sower

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The parable of the sower was set aside by Jesus Christ as being a very special one. In [Mk 4: 13] Christ states that if you don't understand this parable, you won't understand any of them.

Mark 4:13 (Christ speaking)
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? (KJV)

Christ also does something unusual with this parable; He explains it for all of us to understand. This documents that it is so very important to understand this one above and before all others. Let's understand it.

Simply put, it is the story of four different types of people (souls). And how they react when they are exposed to the True Word of God, whether it be the Bible or someone telling them of the Lord (witnessing). These four different souls are indicative of all the souls on the earth who are exposed to the Word of God.

In this parable Christ uses an analogy of a farmer (sower) as he plants his field in the beginning of the growing season, and then it tells what becomes of the four different types of seeds that were planted (sowed).

We are to directly correlate the fate of each of these four types of seeds mentioned, to four different types of people (souls). In this, we can learn how to be the right kind of seed (soul) and also it teaches us why sometimes the seeds that we plant with people about God (witnessing) do not seem to take root.

With that being stated, let's examine the parable of the sower as stated and taught by Jesus Christ Himself as He walked the earth in [Mark 4:1-23]. You will also find this parable in the book of Matthew [Mt 1-23] for a second witness. You always want at least two witnesses to anything in God's Word, so that you can be sure that you are getting the correct interpretation of the verse. The Bible most always has at least three separate witnesses, if you know how to dig them out.


Mark 4:1-25 : The Parable Of The Sower

(The verse of Mark 4:1-25 is in red, and the explanations are in black)


1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

This area that Jesus was teaching in was a bay that was surrounded on three sides by lowland. Behind this low ground the rocks rose behind them forming a natural basin which had acoustical properties that formed a natural amphitheater.

As Jesus went a short distance to the center of the bay, when He spoke the sound bounced around the three rock walls behind the people and Thus all could here Jesus' words because the shape of the landscape made the area to be like a theater which bounces the sounds off of a solid surface and makes the sound carry very well.

To this very day, there are places in nature that you can go and because of the landscape you can hear a normal tone voice up to a mile away. It is from this, that mankind learned how to design theaters were-by the singers and actors could be heard by all the people in a theater before the days of modern electronic amplification.

Some people would have just read over the first verse above, but in seeing it in the completeness that is in, we can better see the truth that God has laid in all things in our Bible. There is a reason for every little thing written in our Bibles, all is written for a reason, we must learn to seek it out.

2 And he taught them many things by parables*1, and said unto them in his doctrine*2,

Explanation from above verse: *1 parables = is one thing that acts as another thing, or one thing that represents another thing. Christ so often spoke in parables. He did this as a way to say one thing and have it mean different things to different people at different levels of instruction. But no one meaning can go against the other meanings, this is a witness to the supreme authorship of God, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the writings and events recorded in our Bibles. *2 his doctrine = His (Jesus') life and examples, His teachings.

3 Hearken; Behold*1, there went out a sower to sow*2:

Explanation from above verse: *1 Hearken; Behold = To listen up, understand this, it is important! *2 there went out a sower to sow = A planter planting; a farmer going about planting his crop in the field in the beginning of the season.

First we must understand how the farmers (sowers) planted (sowed) their crops in the days that this scripture was written. For they did not have the modern farm equipment that we now have today. They carried a bag of seeds like an apron across the front of their body, and they would be able to reach in an grab handfuls of the seed as they walked along. What they would do is to walk a straight line through the field that they wanted to plant and they reach into the bag, grab a handful of seed and throw it out to each side of them. This is called "broadcasting seed," and it is still done like this today on a limited basis in some parts of the world.

With experience, as one walks through the field, an adult six foot male can broadcast seed with fairly even coverage along a twenty-five to thirty foot swath. The only problem is that he cannot control where the seed lands. There is much more waste this way than the way we do it with modern planting equipment, but it was the only way they could it then.

Some of the "broadcasted" seed landed on rocks, some landed among thick weed beds, and some landed in the open and were exposed to birds, who ate the seeds before they could sprout, take root, and mature into a crop that can be harvested.

Christ will go on in this parable to liken the plight of these individual seeds as they are sown (planted), and compare it to what happens to certain individual people who hear the Word (seed) of God and whether or not it takes root in their minds and souls. In other words, although Jesus is talking about agriculture, look into the deeper meaning as it applies to people learning about the Word of God. The seed is the true word of God, the field is the world, and the sower is someone telling an unbeliever about God and Jesus.

4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some *1fell by the way side*2, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

Explanation from above verse: *1 some = in the literal sense it means some seeds, but in the deeper sense of the parable, the seed is the seed of truth from God's Word. *2 the way side = It is like a sidewalk, in those days it was the ground that was trampled down very hard along a well traveled path. The seeds that landed here were exposed to the birds who came and took them away before they could sprout, root and grow.

Satan's false teachers will steal the true Word of God away from those who don't study from God's Written Word, The Bible; were-by they could have known to beware false doctrines that expose them to be picked off by the lies of the wicked one (satan).

Through your Bible, you can learn to tell when someone is trying to mislead you with lies and traditions of man that have crept into the various denominations and faiths today. Those above (in verse 4) have exposed themselves to be deceived and taken away from the grace of God. This seed was lost: (1 seed/soul lost)

5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth*1of earth:

Explanation from above verse: *1 no depth = An interesting choice of words is used here; below is the definition from the Greek dictionary of the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:

DEPTH: Greek word #899; bathos (bath'-os); profundity, i.e. (by implication) extent; (figuratively) mystery: metaphorically used of the deep things of God.

6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Explanation from above verse: It (the seed) landed on a hard rocky ground and could not send forth roots to anchor it. And as moisture hit the seed, it sprouted, dried up, and died as soon as the sun hit and backed it. This is likened to someone hearing the Word of God but having a hardened heart, the seed of truth could not take root. They don't care to listen and receive the truth. They had no root in God's true Word. You must have a root in God's Word, to be able to withstand satan's onslaught of lies and deception. This seed also was lost: (2 seeds/souls lost)

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

Explanation from above verse: Thorns are weeds, the new seedlings could not compete for sun, soil, and moisture with the fast growing and hardy weeds. The weeds choked the seedlings to death. The thorns (weeds) are symbolic of satan's lies and false doctrines that spread so fast and sound so good, but in reality they are just a cheap imitation having no basis in truth. People today seem to like to run after "feel good" doctrines and traditions of man in the churches that are the opposite of God's true Word. The thorns (weeds) are also representable of the ways of the world. This seed also was lost: (3 seeds/souls lost)

8 And other fell on good ground*1, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

Explanation from above verse: *1 good ground = Good ground is prepared ground. This seed was not lost, one seed out of four took root and matured. This is symbolic of one seed/soul out of four saved, and the other three lost. The yield at harvest time of thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold make up for the lost three out of four seeds originally planted. (1 seed/soul out of four saved)

It is just as a farmer prepares the field first before he plants his crop and gets a better yield. You can get a better success in planting the seeds of God's truth by preparing yourself through increasing your knowledge and understanding of God's Word were-by God can utilize you to spread His truth.

You do this by studying God's letter to you, the Bible, then you can accurately and confidently answer peoples questions about God's plan. This is the best received way to teach people of God and to witness for Him. People may not always agree with you, but they respect knowledge and the confidence that it brings. But remember, it is God who is in control, and if He feels that it is not time for someone to hear and understand the Word of God, then there is no way that you can supercede that. Perhaps He will touch them at a later time.

9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear*1.

Explanation from above verse: *1 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear = When ever you see this saying, sharpen up, because it means pay close attention, it is written to the elect. The elect are simply those men and women in the end times, who understand that the false messiah, who is the false christ, whom is satan himself; comes first to this earth claiming to be the True Messiah Jesus Christ. It is written that this false one will deceive most of the world. I hope he doesn't deceive you, you can avoid that by studying God's Word, the Bible.

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve*1 asked of him the parable.

Explanation from above verse: *1 when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve = Jesus is now alone with the twelve disciples, away from all the other people He was just teaching to. Whenever Jesus spoke to the multitudes of people He spoke in parables. But sometimes when He was alone with the disciples (as He is here) He explained the parables (as He will in the next few verses). The disciples didn't understand the parable of the sower, and they privately asked Jesus to explain it to them.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God*1: but unto them that are without*2, all these things are done in parables:

Explanation from above verse: *1 it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God = All ancient manuscripts omit "to know" and it reads : "Unto you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God." *2 them that are without = means: "outside of the circle of those that do know the secret from the foundation of the earth." [Mt 13:35]&[Psalm 78:2].

What then is this mystery and secret from the foundation of the world? The secret lays within the parable of the tares. You will find the parable of the tares in [Mt 13:24-30].

And while this would be another study topic for another day; simply put, the parable of the tares is speaking of the good seed (God's faithful children, offspring of Seth through Adam and thus God) and the evil seed (satan's children, the Kenites, which means sons of Cain, the first murderer, sired from the serpent and thus satan). By understanding the parable of the tares, you understand that satan, through the serpent, planted the evil seed (Cain) in the garden of Eden. And God through Adam, planted the good seed (Able) whom was murdered by Cain. Seth was then born of Adam and Eve to carry on the promise. If you don't understand this, get the In-depth Bible Study: What was the real sin in the Garden of Eden?

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted*1, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Explanation from above verse: *1 be converted = To return to the Lord. In this verse 12 above, Jesus was Quoting from [Isaiah 6:9+10]:

Isa 6:9-10
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (KJV)

This is the Spirit of slumber spoken of in [Rom 11:7+8]. The spirit of slumber (or stupor) is not a curse. It is done for the protection of the weak minded who would not be able to stand against the antichrist in the end times.

And if these people (the weak minded) possessed full knowledge of the true identity of the antichrist (satan) and were to worship him as the True Messiah, then they would be held accountable. This would constitute one form of the The Unforgivable Sin; the only unforgivable sin.

God will lift the spirit of slumber off of those that He will when it is His (God's) time. That is why, if it just isn't their time, you are to leave them alone ie: Don't try to force God's Word on those that do not seek it or who are not ready to receive it. God is in control, He sets the time. The main thing to remember is that He sends the spirit of slumber out of His deep love for His children, were-by they will not necessarily have to be condemned to the lake of fire for worshiping the antichrist, because they do it in ignorance. And a sin done in ignorance is not necessarily a sin against your eternal soul. God is in total control!

Rom 11:7-8 (The spirit of slumber from God)
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. (KJV)

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not*1 this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?*2

Explanation from above verse: *1 Know ye not = Means: "have you no intuitive knowledge of?" *2 how then will ye know all parables? = This is a very special parable. If you don't understand the parable of the sower and the parable of the tares in [Mt 13: 24-30] You will not understand any of the other parables of God's Word to their full extent.

Because in understanding this parable and the parable of the tares, you understand that satan through the serpent, planted the evil seed (Cain) in the garden of Eden; and God through Adam, planted the good seed (Able).

Cain murdered Able, and the good seed from God continued on through Seth. Seth was Eve's third son, but only Adams second son. For Cain's father was the serpent, whom is none other than satan himself fulfilling one of his many roles. Satan has many roles but it is the same entity. For an in-depth study of this topic, read the What was the real sin in the Garden of Eden study, and also the The antichrist In-depth Bible Studies.

14 The sower soweth the word.

Explanation from above verse: Now Jesus is explaining the true meaning of the parable of the sower. Enjoy this and profit from it, because Jesus does not often explain a parable for all to understand. This is a witness as to how much importance Jesus placed on understanding this parable.

Here Jesus is telling the Disciples that it was not the seeds of plants that He was speaking about, but that it was seed of the Word of God, that once planted into the mind of a believer, grows and flourishes as faith. Planting the true Word of God into peoples minds is called "witnessing" or sharing your faith, and it also comes along by teaching God's Word from the His Holy Written Word, The Bible.

As we read on, we will see how satan tries by various different means, to take the true Word of God away from people and plant false doctrines into their minds and hearts (like the false rapture theory for instance, which will ultimately lead all it's followers into the abomination of abominations, which is worshiping the antichrist as the True Jesus Christ). Satan, as the imposter will come to this earth first before the True Jesus Christ claiming to be the prophesied True Messiah and he (antichrist) will deceive the world. If you have never been taught this, see our The Antichrist study.

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan*1 cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts*2.

Explanation from above verse: *1 Satan = By Jesus using satan's name here, we see that we are not talking about seed of plants, and literal birds of the air. We are talking about seeds of truth, and souls of men, and the evil way of the wicked one, satan. Satan and the ways of the world took away the truth for these. *2 hearts = Minds. Most very often when the Bible says "hearts" it should be translated to "minds." (This is the first lost soul).

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness*1;

Explanation from above verse: *1 immediately receive it with gladness = The effect of thus hearing with understanding, has an "immediate" result, just as the result is immediate below in verse 17. At first when they understand they are enthusiastic and study hard and witness Jesus to others. But read the next verse and see what happened to them because they had no root in the Lord, and were embarrassed to proclaim His name unto other people for fear of ridicule. . . .

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time*1: afterward, when affliction*2 or persecution ariseth for the word's sake*3, immediately they are offended.*4

Explanation from above verse: *1 endure but for a time = It is only temporary. *2 affliction = Tribulation. *3 for the word's sake = On account of the word of God (because of it). *4 offended = They cant stand a little pressure, they are too weak to make a stand for what they believe in. They're gonna be offended alright, they stumble away from the Word. The stumbling is as immediate as the "gladness" of verses16. People shun this one and mock his studying and witnessing the word of God. It becomes politically incorrect to speak of God. He buckles to peer pressure and forsakes God to please men. He ceases to grow in God's Word. He turns away from God to be popular in the world. It is many of this type of weak minded persons that God sends the spirit of slumber upon for their own pitiful protection. We should be glad that Jesus wasn't this uncommitted when it came to His sacrifice on the cross, were-by we are even afforded salvation. Satan has won this one. (This is the second lost soul)

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world
*1, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things*2 entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Explanation from above verse: *1 the cares of this world = Anxieties of this age, the ways of the world. *2 deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things = Desires concerning money and other things. Everything seems to take priority over God with this individual; their job, their boyfriends/girlfriends, their cars, their homes, their reputation, their appearance, their bank accounts, their leisure time. . . .

They become just too busy for God in their lives. They are so involved with the temporal pleasures of this world that they leave the true instruction of God's Word. They feel that if they take a stand they will not be able to succeed in life, but the opposite is actually true. God blesses the lives of those who remain faithful to Him and His true Word. Even an unbeliever will actually respect you for your knowledge of God's Word, and they will envy your faith and confidence in the Lord as you go through the up's and down's of life that we all experience.

Eventually some of them may ask you to teach them about God's Word. This is by design from Almighty God, He has us to plant the seed of His truth in their minds, but it is only God that can cause it to sprout and grow, God controls the watering and cultivation. That is why if someone isn't interested in hearing the Word then you are to leave them alone. If it isn't God's time for them then there is nothing that you can do about it. This is where the saying: "Don't cast your pearls before swine" [Mt 7:6] comes from. And it means not to cast pearls of God's truth to people that couldn't care less. To do so actually disrespects the Word of God. It cheapens it before the heathen, whom are those referred to as "dogs" in [Mt 7:6]. Heathen unbelievers are referred to as "dogs" in the Bible, another example is in [Mk 7:26-30].

20 And these are they which are sown on good ground*1; such as hear the word, and receive it*2, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred*3.

Explanation from above verse: *1 good ground = Good ground is prepared ground. Just like a good mind/soul is a prepared mind/soul. In other words, a basically good individual, not perfect mind you, for we all fall short. *2 hear the word, and receive it = Hear, understand, and gladly receive the truth of God's Word. *3 bring forth fruit... = This is explained in the following verses and this is actually another parable, but I feel it would be beneficial to cover it briefly, so as to completely understand the parable of the sower.

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

Explanation from above verse: The candle is the light of God's truth, and if you can see it then you are to share it, not hide it. If you are a believer, people should know it, they should see it in you. Don't be ashamed of God or He will be ashamed of you. You are not to be some kind of religious fanatic, but you should plant seeds of faith in other people if they care to listen or they ask you. Don't hide the truth that you learned and refuse to share it with God's other beloved children. After all, someone showed you the way once, didn't they? What if they were an "undercover Christian," and withheld the truth from you? Maybe you wouldn't have had the opportunity to see the beautiful truth in God's Word. That would have been a mark against them on judgment day. The same applies to all believers.

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

Explanation from above verse: God intends that all have an opportunity to hear of Him and to make up their own minds. God's Word is for all that would seek and receive it. You would do well (to put it mildly) not to violate that!

23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete
*1, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

Explanation from above verse: *1 what measure ye mete = how much of the truth of God's Word that you share with others. And the more of God's Word you study, hear, and understand with interest, the more will be given unto you.

25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. (KJV)

Explanation from above verse: *1 he that hath, to him shall be given = He that has spent the time to study God's Word will be rewarded with more knowledge than he learned on his own. And he will reap abundant rewards in Heaven because he was a good and faithful servant. *2 he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath = He that hasn't put in the interest or the time to learn of our Father's Word will be stripped of what little he does know. Even his place in Heaven could be taken. This is what happens to the lazy, selfish, or ashamed believer who is too weak to speak of our Fathers Word for fear of being "unpopular" or not "politically correct."

You can only but imagine how displeased God is with a Nation that makes speaking of Him, the creator of all, "politically incorrect." You be sure that you are on the right side, and the Hell with being politically correct! We are in the final generation, there is no time to be simply playing church, you can't con God, those who try to will answer for this insult on judgment day; see that you do not have to. This doesn't mean that you have to turn into a religious fanatic and make yourself like a hermit studying the Bible twenty-four hours a day, that isn't of God, He does want us out in the world, were-by we can have contact with others who may desire to hear of the Lord.

God bless you and your understanding of God's Word!


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