Luke 8:9 – And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
A parable can be defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning that teaches both a doctrinal and practical lesson. The parable of the sower teaches us that there is nothing wrong with the seed (the word of God). It is the condition of the soil (the heart) that causes the seed to either die or bring forth fruit.
The first type of soil is roadside soil or a hard heart (vss. 5, 12). The seed is scattered on it but it never sinks down into it. The birds come quickly and devour the seed before it can have an impact. Some people have such hard hearts they will never listen to the word of God.
The second type of soil is rocky soil or a hasty heart (vss. 6, 13). The seed germinated in the soil showing there was nothing wrong with the seed, but it didn’t last. There never was a root system. The root is Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:5). Without Him, no one can survive the heat. They will wither away.
The third is the ruined soil or hobby heart (vss., 7, 14). The seed is sown and begins to grow, but the weeds outgrow it and eventually choke out the good seed. Cash is one of the thorns that overtake the word. Some worship the “almighty dollar” instead of God. Covetousness (Mark 4:19) can also spring up with the seed and steal our affections. Anything we place above God is an idol. Contentment (“pleasures”) often overtakes the word because many would rather be comfortable than obedient to God. Cares also choke out the word. Financial, family, and fitness trouble often steal our attention that should be on God.
The final soil is the rich soil or honest heart (vss. 8, 15). These Christians hear the word, not just audibly but inwardly. They heed the word by applying it to their lives, and they hold the word, they are patient and consequently bring forth fruit!