The Parable of the Sower found in three of the four Gospels (Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-25, Luke 8:4-18) is the first in a series of seven parables that Jesus relates in Matthew 13. The disciples question the meaning of this parable, and Jesus explains the meaning. Generally, parables have one main point. Since the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is the focus of the parables in Matthew 13, each parable provides insight into the Kingdom.
If you have ever tried to garden or grow anything, share with your group how it went.
Read Matthew 13:1-23. Who is the farmer, what is the seed, and what is the soil?
Does the way the farmer scatters the seed indicate how we are to share His Word?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. What is our role and God’s role in the growth of seeds?
What are the four soils and the results of the seeds being sown?
Does your awareness of different types of soil challenge your concept of salvation? Why or why not?
Read Matthew 13:7 and 22. What are some “thorns” that limit your effectiveness as a Christian?
Read Matthew 13:8,23. What do you believe Jesus means when He refers to the crop?
What happens when someone hears the Word and does not understand it (Matthew 13:13-16)? What about those who hear and understand? What do you learn from this? (See also James 1:22-25.)
What insight into the Kingdom of God have you learned from the Parable of the Sower?
Mediate on Matthew 13:7 and 22. Consider a “thorn” you struggle with that is affecting your Christian walk. Ask your group to pray for you as you rely on the Spirit to remove this “thorn”.
“Then He told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear’.” Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV)