Parable of a Sower and Four Soils

When The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie was released, we went to see the movie with some of our friends. Every one of us enjoyed the movie. Later we were discussing about the movie and its Christian message, one of our friends did not really understand it. We then shared the representation of Christ in Aslan, the Lion. He was amazed by the deeper truths of the Narnia story.

We all like good stories. But many stories have deep, (often hidden) spiritual truths to them. If you are not careful, you can easily miss its meaning. Jesus also told many of such stories during His earthly ministry. They are also called ‘parables’. Today, we are going to look at one of the most famous of parables, parable of a Sower and four soils.

What is a Parable?

  • Parable is a story that conveys deeper, some times hidden and complex truths.

Bible Study Passage

Matthew 13:3-9

3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Matthew 13:18-23

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Who is the farmer? What is the seed? What are the soils?

  • The farmer (sower) in this story is Jesus Christ. But it can also be applied to Holy Spirit or any Christian who plant spiritual seeds.
  • The seed is the Word of God, Bible.
  • Soils are the ways in which people respond to the message of God’s word. It shows the condition of their hearts.

Let us look at each soil, its response to the Seed, some observations, interpretations and applications.

Soil of a path

  • Result – The seed was eaten by the birds. It did not even take a root.
  • Fruits – It did not bear any fruits.
  • Application – It represents a person, who has a closed heart/mind, if a person is indifferent to the word of God, the Evil one can easily snatches away the seed.

Rocky Soil

  • Result – The seed grew up quickly, as the soil was shallow. When the sun came up, it withered away, since it had no root.
  • Fruits – It did not bear any fruit.
  • Application – It represents a person, who has a shallow understanding of God’s word, he quickly receives the seed (like an emotional response). But when the trouble or suffering and persecution come because of following Christ, the seed quickly withers away, since it is not rooted in the Word.

Thorny Soil

  • Result – The seed grew, but the thorns also grew and choked the plant.
  • Fruits – It did not bear any fruits.
  • Application – It represents a person in whom the seed grows, but the worries of life, the pleasures of the world quickly chokes the seed and it does not bear any fruits.

Good Soil

  • Response – The seed grew and produced a crop.
  • Fruits – It produced a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
  • Application – This person receives the seed and understands it. The seed grows in him. He avoids the distractions, overcomes temptations, stands firm in the time of trouble, and produces many fruits.


  • What kind of Soil are you?
  • What is choking the seed (Word of God) in you?
  • Are you growing in the Word?


  1. Jim&JoAnne says

    Sometimes soil needs to be mended. We were good soil and seem to have gotten distracted. We are going to get back on track and are so glad we found this online study! Thank you!

  2. wd herrin says

    Jesus’ Parable of the Sower of the seed illustrates who we are to sow seed to, and importantly, who NOT to sow the seed to.
    It’s instructional on how to be the best fisher of men, and the most productive for the Kingdom of God.
    Jesus’ illustration shows that only one of the four would produce fruit 100% of the time and is emphasized with the contrary that sowing seeds on infertile ground NEVER produces fruit.
    As Christians who emphasize so greatly on witnessing, we should take instruction from this parable on how to be the most effective and productive sower that produces the most fruit for our effort, and for God’s Kingdom.
    Recall how Jesus called the twelve? All good soil. Not one that was called rejected His call. And all bore fruit (notwithstanding Judas,but that was God’s plan). The same should be with our witnessing – sowing the seed.
    Only on good soil to bear fruit.


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