The Parable of the Sowers

Written by Michael Manthe

When I first wrote this devotion, it was initially meant for children. I had four covered containers with slits at the top, and I gave each child four seeds and asked them to plant a seed in each container. After each child was done planting their seeds I uncovered each container, one at a time to reveal a picture in each one. The first had a picture of a beaten down gravel road, the second of a rocky landscape, the third was a picture of a large patch of thistles, and the fourth was of a massive corn field. As I explained what happened to their seeds in each scenario, their faces got a little more contorted with confusion with each container. Before reading the scripture I asked if they knew what was going to happen to their seeds when they planted it, and if they knew the type of terrain as they were planting, and of course they said no because they had no clue.

Luke 8:5-8 says this; “‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on the rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.’ When he had said these things He cried, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’”

So what does this parable mean? Why would Jesus talk about some guy just throwing seed around not being mindful as to what he is putting his seed into? After all, the type of soil you use is crucial to the survival of whatever you are planting, so you would want to be a little choosy as to where exactly you plant your crop. The disciples didn’t quite get what was going on either, so Jesus explains to them in Luke 8:11-15; “Now the parable is this; The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”

About this time, we begin to realize that sowing the seed means spreading the Gospel. We should want to share that message with everyone, and not just people who you think are going to accept God’s word and for sure hold fast to it. It also means spreading the Word to someone who is a devout atheist, a Muslim, or that person who constantly falls in their faith life because they are choosing to build their life on something other than the rock of Jesus Christ. And just like the containers were covered up at the beginning of the devotion, so are people in a way. We cannot see into people’s hearts, only God can do that. All we can do is spread the seed and let God take care of the rest.

Everyone needs to hear God’s Word, and that’s our job as disciples of Christ. It’s simply to spread God’s word and love to everyone we have a chance to. While this calling is so easy, we too have been guilty of not executing it in our lives. How many times have we not spoken in instances to profess our faith because we think, “this person won’t listen to me” or afraid of how people would react to us. Even still God has forgiven us, our sins still atoned for by Christ.We must remember it’s not on us to pick and choose who we bring God’s Word to. Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” So let us go as carefree as that sower and spread the Gospel to everyone who is willing to listen, and watch as that seed of Christ starts to grow!