Week 2

A Sower, Some Soil, and Lots of Seeds


Have you ever approached this parable the same way you would one of those “self-help” quizzes on Facebook? “Take this quiz and discover your spiritual soil type!” No surprise, we usually identify ourselves as the GOOD soil. We might even be tempted to take the quiz to discover someone else’s spiritual soil type. No surprise, we may assess them as being one of those “other” soils.

What if we turned our attention to the sower and all that seed, rather than to ourselves and others? When we look at the sower, we see someone (Jesus) scattering seed enthusiastically and abundantly. Seeds are flying everywhere! When we look at the seed (the word of the kingdom), we see healthy, fertile seed that falls on and even germinates in less-than-ideal soil. Surely the sower sees that his seed is landing in the lives of those who failed the soil quiz.

And that is the point. Jesus abundantly shares the word of the kingdom with all. All soil is redeemable. Soil can be plowed. Rocks can be removed, and thorns can be pulled. How about a scarecrow to keep the birds away? Each of us have some rocks and thorns in our lives that don’t make for good growing. But we remember the abundance of the Sower and his good seed and so have hope that we can be weeded and cleared of those things that keeps us from fruitful lives.


Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23

And [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

 “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” 


  • Reflect on this week’s scripture. Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?

  • Jesus the storyteller begins his parables with this one, and thus, it creates the framework for all the parables to follow. What do you want to remember from this story in the weeks ahead?

  • We each have our share of packed soil, birds, rocks, and thorns in our lives. Look at how Jesus describes them in the second part of the parable. What are the fears, cares, concerns, etc. in your life? What good seed of the word is mingled in with these? How might you nurture the good seed?

  • Jesus’ good seed is the word of the kingdom. That means it is more than just words for us as individuals; they are also words for us as the people of God. Look at the people around you. How might you clear some rocks or thorns that keep others from the abundance of God?


God of abundance,

Thank you for the good seed that you sow with such enthusiasm.

May we seek and find it everywhere in our lives, even in those places we don’t expect it.

Help us to encourage others to seek and find your goodness in their lives as well.