These parables were short stories to show the truths of the gospel. As Jesus sat in the boat he told them about a farmer who went
out to sow seeds in his held. This is the story:
"One day a sower took a bag of grain and went out to his field
He walked back and forth across the field scattering handfuls of
seed on the ground. As the grain fell the breeze helped scatter it.
"Some seeds blew onto the road. When the birds saw the seeds
lying there, they flew down and ate them. Other seeds fell on stony
places and began to grow, but the soil was so shallow that the plants
soon withered and died. Some seeds fell in thorny places, and the
thorns grew so fast that they choked out the good seed.
"But not all the seeds were wasted. Many of them fell on good
ground. There they sprouted and sent their roots into the rich soil
After a time they grew into stalks of grain. The stalks produced
many more seeds than were first scattered on the ground. Some fields
produced thirty times more, others sixty times more, and some even
one hundred times more."
The disciples wondered what the story meant. Why was Jesus telling stories instead of preaching sermons? When they climbed back
into the boat, they asked him, "Why are you teaching the people with parables?"
Jesus answered, "Because I know you will try to find out what the stories mean. Others who hear the stories will not try to
understand the meaning because their hearts are not open to God's message."
Then Jesus explained to the disciples what the story of the sower meant.
"The sower," he said, "is the person who speaks the words of God. The different kinds of soil represent the ways people act when they
hear God's message. Those who hear it but do not try to understand are like the roadside where the seeds fell. Just as the birds flew
down and ate those seeds, the evil one comes and the people forget the message they have heard.
"Those who listen gladly to God's words but do not obey them, are like the stony places. The seeds fell but did not grow because
they could not take deep root in the stony soil.
"Those who believe God's word in their hearts but allow trouble, money, or pleasure to crowd it out are like the soil where the
thorns choked out the good seeds.
"But those who hear and obey God's word are like the good ground. Here the seeds fell, sprouted, grew into stalks, and produced