Bible Study Lesson >> Matthew 13:1-23
Like Johnny Appleseed this four soils parable from Jesus explains how we need to “plant good seeds”.
Some will fall on “good soil” and some on “rocky soil” to reach those people who have not heard the good news about Jesus Christ.
Four Soils Parable – Jesus Explains Seeds That Take Root (Good Seeds)
That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.
And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
He who has ears, let him hear.” – Matthew 13:1-9 NASB
The Sower Explained
“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 has been sown in his heart.
This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” – Matthew 13:18-23 NASB
Sowing and Reaping According to Christ Using Understandable Examples (Parables)
Yes, I sometimes have trouble understanding the parables – until they are explained.
Fortunately, we have the completed Bible to help us know what Christ was talking about.
But the people in the crowds didn’t have this advantage.
The “inner circle” of disciples were enlightened with understanding as Jesus explained to them the parable of the seeds.
Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?
Jesus spoke to the crowd in parables. These stories were told in terms they could understand.
The people certainly understood the process of planting (sowing) and reaping as many of them were farmers.
If the parable were told in our time Jesus might use examples such as an automobile using good or bad fuel.
All in all, Jesus knew what the crowd would comprehend and varied His teachings accordingly.
With that said, the ultimate goal of these parables is to reach people who are sincerely searching for the truth.
Those who are not really interested will only be entertained and are not motivated to discover the true meaning.
Making Christ Known – Does the World Have Enough “Apples”?
In this parable the farmer sowed good seed but not all became fruitful.
I remember a comparison from a movie about seed planting. The actor was explaining faith with a parable using the fictional character from the book, Johnny Appleseed.
Johnny Appleseed went all about the countryside planting apples.
Some of the seeds produced bountiful apple trees full with fruit while some never sprouted.
Johnny planted a few seeds and he moved on. He knew that not all seeds would produce but he kept planting.
He had good seeds and left a trail of apple trees all across the country.
Do you think we have enough apples?
Well, we can always use more but the harvest is plentiful because of Johnny’s commitment to do the planting.
Our Seed and Soil
As Christians, God gives us good seed; as a matter of fact, the very best.
We need to become more like Johnny Appleseed and sow the good news about Jesus Christ along the way of our journey through life.
Some people will listen; some will hear and receive; and some will never take that step of accepting Christ.
It’s sad to know this fact but we can’t let that keep us from “planting more seeds“, Can we?
Love In Christ
If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16.