The Parable of the Sower
This is the first parable used by Jesus and is found in Matthew 13. As the first parable it is likely that this particular parable is of greater importance or contains more understanding of the underlying principle being taught. After all, a parable is a simple story meant to convey some deeper teaching on a particular subject. And as it being the first one mentioned, it probably has greater significance.
One of the Greatest Secrets in the Bible
The underlying story in the Parable of the Sower is how the Kingdom of God works. This is one of the greatest secrets that is told in the Bible, and it is one that virtually no one has taken the time to research or understand. This secret taught here controls every aspect of our Christian living. Every single one. The principles contained in the Parable of the Sower are responsible for the success that a believer has with regard to understanding how biblical healing works.
The Problem with Christians Being Sick is Christians Don’t Understand how Healing Works
As I have already stated, the biggest problem with believers walking in divine health is the mindset from which almost all Christians have been taught. This mindset is clearly wrong and is part of the great deception by the Devil to keep God’s people from living the victorious life promised in the Word of God.
That deception, relating to healing, is that when a believer gets sick, he asks God to be healed. The problem with that is that we are already healed. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t or won’t restore them, it’s just a misunderstanding of what was accomplished on the cross. The correct position in which to approach God would be to recognize that you are already healed and that the Devil is attacking you in an attempt to put sickness and disease on your body. Even if he is successful, you are still healed; you’ve just allowed the Devil to assert his influence over you life, with sickness, as opposed to God’s, with Divine Healing. And all because you have the wrong mindset. You can be feeling the ravages of a sickness and disease from which God will restore you. But you are still healed. Just like you are still saved.
Healing is Very Much Like Salvation
Healing, like salvation was accomplished on the cross, where Jesus paid our price for redemption. Let me ask you this. Since the day you got saved, have you asked God to save you again? No you haven’t! Why? Because you were already saved, and you understand that part of salvation, that you don’t have to keep asking for God to save you.
And he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your household.” —Acts 16:30-31
You may not be experiencing all of the promises that God said were available to you. But you don’t go and ask God to save you again. That was done on the cross. No matter how bad your life gets, if you accepted Jesus, you are saved. He is always with you.
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in hell (referring to extreme degradation of sin) behold, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of dawn, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there you hand will lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. —Psalm 139:7-10
So, since healing was accomplished for you at the cross, why would ask God for something you already have? It’s because that was what we were taught. It is because that is what preachers taught. It was because that was the extent to which revelation knowledge (see Note 1 below) on the subject of healing was revealed.
By whose stripes you were healed. —1 Peter 2:24
The Parable of the Sower is How the Kingdom of Heaven Operates
The Parable of the Sower is all about the Kingdom of God, and how it operates. It is just simple common sense. The principles of the Kingdom of God work just like someone planting seed in a field, or garden. The overlying principle for this parable is that seeds, once planted, require attention, and take time to grow. Even though you don’t see the growth initially, it is there, it is happening, the seeds are growing. And so are the weeds. But the weeds don’t start showing up until after the seeds start to show visible signs of growth.
The Seed is the Word of God – the Written Word
Jesus stated in this parable that the seed was the Word of God.
Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God. —Luke 8:11
That’s simple; the Word of God is the Bible, which are the words on the page. Jesus also said in this parable that there were four types of ground in which someone may plant seeds.
4 Different Types of Ground the Seed is Planted in
The first type of ground was referred to as the wayside. The second was rocky ground, the third was stoney ground, and the fourth was good ground.
The seed sown by the wayside was eaten up by birds. The seed sown on rocky ground didn’t have much soil so it was scorched by the sun because it didn’t have sufficient roots. The seed sown on thorny ground grew up with the thorns but was choked by them. And the seed sown on good ground grew up and produced fruit, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
Jesus Explains What the Parable the Sower Means
Now here is where it gets interesting. The disciples had no idea what Jesus meant so they went to Him and asked Him why he spoke to the crowds in parables. The reply that Jesus gave is the secret to how the Kingdom of Heaven operates.
He answered and said to them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries (see Note 2 below) of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given.” —Matthew 13:11
Right here Jesus clearly tells his disciples that the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven were only available for them to know. Now they are available for us to know. Jesus said this was a secret.
The Seed by the Wayside
So then Jesus explained what this parable meant. The seed by the wayside was likened to when someone hears the Word of God and does not understand it.
When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and doesn’t understand it, then the wicked one comes and takes away what was sown in his heart. This is the one who receives by the wayside. —Matthew 13:19
Jesus said the Devil comes and takes it away from them. Luke’s Gospel says that because of this, the person who hears about Jesus and doesn’t understand, won’t believe and get saved.
Those by the wayside are those that hear then the Devil comes and takes away the Word out of their hearts, so that they will not believe and be saved. —Luke 8:12
The Seed on Rocky Ground
This is the seed that is sown and the hearer understands it, and receives it with joy.
But he that received the seed on stoney places, this is the one that hears the Word and immediately with joy receives it. 21 But he has no root in himself, and endures for a while. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he falls away. —Matthew 13:20-21
Luke’s account has it a little different. Luke says that the stoney ground person believes for a while, but in the times of temptation, they fall away.
The ones on rocky ground are those who, when they hear, they received the Word with joy; they have no root and believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. —Luke 8:12-13
Both accounts essentially state the same thing. The Word is understood, received with joy, and when the trials and temptations arise because the Word of God was received, the person on rocky ground fell away and produced no fruit.
The Seed Grown on Thorny Ground
This is an interesting passage about the thorny ground. Matthew says that this person on the thorny ground received the Word but it produced no fruit because it was choked out by the things of the world and the deceitfulness of riches.
He that received seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. —Matthew 13:22
Luke says it a little differently. Luke says the pleasures of this world choke out the growth of the seed.
And that which fell among the thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures in this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. —Luke 8:14
So Luke adds the idea of pleasures to the seed sown on thorny ground resulting in no fruit being produced. What is meant by Luke’s reference to pleasures is not entirely clear. Could he be speaking of worldly pleasures? That seems most likely here.
The Seed Sown on Good Ground
Matthew’s account of the seed sown on good ground is simple, but revealing. It implies that the good ground person hears the Word of God and understands it.
But he that receives seed on the good ground is he that hears the Word and understands it, who also bears fruit and brings forth a hundred times, some sixty, and some thirty. —Matthew 13:23
Luke has a different take on the seed sown on good ground.
But the ones that fell on good ground are those who have an honest and good heart, and having heard the Word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. —Luke 8:15
Luke says that the ones who hear the Word, after they hear it, they keep it. The really interesting thing about Luke’s account here is the use of the word keep. In the Greek, keep is the word katecho, Strongs #2722, and among many of the definitions for it, the one that seems most relevant is retain. So it would read something like, “for the one who hears the Word and retains it.” That is fascinating. It is an insight as to why it is important to keep God’s Word in your heart—to memorize it.
Summary of the Parable the Sower
This is the greatest secret in the Bible. It is the teaching about how everything works. It is the teaching that expressly and unequivocally tells the believer how life as a Christian is going to work. You are going to hear something about the Word of God, when you do, either you understand it or you don’t. If you understand it then you move on to the next step. That is when temptation will come your way because you received the word and understood it. The enemy of God is watching you and preparing for their attack. They know you, and now they know that you went beyond the first step of just understanding the Word. They couldn’t come and take away the seed, the Word of God, out of your heart, because you got it. You understood it. Now they are coming after you with a temptation. A cleverly crafted one, just for you. You are now potentially dangerous to them, because you got it, you understood it.
Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. —James 4:7
So the temptation happened and you stood faithful. You stood your ground. You used the tools that were made available for you to stand agains the wiles of the Devil. Now you are the believer who moves onto the next phase of the growth cycle. Your ground is getting better but now you are going to be faced with the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of life. If you can get past this you are on good ground. And when you are on good ground, when you hear the Word of God and you understand, and retain it, you produce much fruit.
Any Christian who catches on to this teaching will have an abundance of success in anything they choose. Jesus went on to say right after the Parable of the Sower that the result of being that good ground it that you will be given more.
For whoever has, to him shall be given more, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not, from him even what he has will be taken. —Matthew 13:12
It is also quite interesting that the very next parable Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13 was the sower who sowed good seed in his field and while he slept the enemy came and sowed weeds among the seeds. That is what happens when you have good ground to plant a seed in—weeds grow.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the plants began to spring up and bring forth fruit, then the weeds also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, “Sir didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?” 28 He said to them, “An enemy has done this….” —Matthew 13:24-28
While this parable has some broader implications, it still has application to the Parable of the Sower and the person with the good ground.
Weeds are a natural occurrence in this world and there is a lesson attached to that fact. It is an occurrence in nature, a law if you will, because of the fall of mankind (see Note 3 below). There is toil involved in maintaining your good ground. When you plant something the weeds will come. And as long as you are diligent to remove them, your seeds will continue to grow and produce fruit, they won’t be choked out. But once you stop pulling out the weeds, they will eventually overtake what you planted.
This is how walking in divine health works. Once you get on the right thinking track and plant the seed for the understanding that you are already healed, the enemy will come to overshadow that with other things. As long as you understand the principles in the Parable of the Sower and implement them you will increase in whatever you planted, whether it be health, prosperity, or anything else. Just be ready to be challenged by the Devil. Listen to the Holy Spirit and learn the Word of God. Just like healing and salvation, both of which you already have, you are victorious. Not, you will be, you already are.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:57
But in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us. —Romans 8:37
1. Revelation knowledge is what the Holy Spirit reveals to us about the Word of God. For those of you who are critics of this term, revelation knowledge, just remember that none of the Apostles knew about God’s plan of salvation for the Gentiles until about seven years after the Church started. No Gentiles were saved, or offered the opportunity to be saved until the Apostle Peter had his interaction with Cornelius the Centurion in Acts 10. This followed Peter’s vision while in a trance on the rooftop in Joppa where he saw the sheet come down form heaven with all kinds of unclean animals. Shortly after that while Peter was presenting the Gospel to Cornelius and his family that the Holy Spirit fell on them and they began speaking in other tongues. That is when Peter realized that the message of the Gospel was also available to the Gentiles. He relayed his experience to the elders in Jerusalem who also realized the message of the Gospel was available to Gentiles. The same scriptures about Gentiles being saved existed before and after Peter’s encounter with Cornelius. But it was at that point that Peter received, revelation knowledge on the subject.
2. musterion, Strongs #3466 – hidden thing, secret, mystery.
3. Genesis 3:17-19 records the curse of the ground and the labor which would be required to produce food to survive. The lesson here is that the enemy is still responsible for trying to ruin our good ground.