Understanding Seeds in the Bible! The Parable of the Sower! Part 3

(Ver 1.4)  This is a very advanced set of Bible lessons about the concepts, laws and information found in the Bible about “seeds”.  As we study this subject we discover how these principles apply both to the natural realm as well as the spiritual realm.  This is now Part 3 of the series and if you have not read from the beginning, I would suggest that you go and start your reading with “Part 1”.  We have already covered a lot of information found in the Bible, some of which you may have heard before, but certainly a lot that is new to you.  Studying the Bible on any subject is very difficult.  Because God has chosen to hide information, and finding every reference to a subject is very challenging.  To study the subject of “Seeds” we really need to search the Bible for every verse with that word in it and determine what it is saying.  Since there is more than one thing in the Bible called by the name “seed” we must learn what each one is and determine if they are related to any other.  But, that is not all of the verses on the subject.  What we must realize is that there are related subjects that go along with it, such as soil, earth, rain, water, light, warmth, planting, sowing, fruit and on and on I could go.  Then what about enemies to seeds, such as birds, insects, weeds, drought, rocks, heat, cold, floods and again on and on I could go.  There are a vast number of dependent subjects that you should learn to see how they apply to what we learn about “seeds”.  I am trying to demonstrate how complicated studying the Bible can be and why so many people do not know what the Bible actually says.  In order to study the Bible correctly, you must dig and research the subject as thoroughly as possible.  This also involves you doing a significant amount of work to find what God has hidden for you.

Today I am going to continue teaching on “seeds” in the Bible with a new perspective that is certainly very important to know.  Jesus taught us many things when He was here physically on the earth.  However, He placed an extraordinary emphasis on a certain subject as being a key to understanding all the other subjects found in the Bible.  Jesus said that this one concept that He taught was more important to understand than any of the others found in the Bible.  This critical subject was based upon “Seeds”.  You can find this teaching in three books of the Gospel; in Luke 8, Matthew 13 and Mark 4.  Let’s start our lesson by reading  Mark 4:26:

Mar 4:26  And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

Apparently the lesson is about the Kingdom of God, so right off of the bat we know it is of great importance.  We also understand it is a spiritual Kingdom and not a physical or natural kingdom.  At least I hope you understand these types of Bible basics.  What does God tell us the Kingdom of God is like?   God clearly says it is like a man who plants seeds into the ground.  Jesus is teaching using the format of a parable that contains natural things that we can see, to help explain spiritual things that we cannot see.  Then consider this, is Jesus a man?   Is Jesus THE man that this parable is referring to?  I think back and believe that when Jesus was on the earth, He was exactly this man.  Since Jesus has returned to heaven, it gets more complicated.  Jesus is still the man, but since He is not here physically anymore, He uses people like me who are here on the planet.  So while I’m not God, I am a tool used by God.   What I want you to see, is that God still uses people today to reach people.  Now let’s go back to Mark 4:3 and discover the key Seed lesson that Jesus wants you to see:

Mar 4:3  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

Jesus informs us that a sower went out to sow.  When you sow, you are doing what?  Of course you are planting seeds in a field or a garden.  Sowing involves a spreading of seeds into the ground.  So Jesus is discussing a farming lesson.  I want to jump down to the explanation of the parable and interject the important stuff that we need to see while we are studying the actual parable about seeds.  Here is what Jesus says about this parable being a key to understanding all the others:

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

It would appear to me that if you can understand this parable, then you are at the crossroads of understanding every parable that Jesus taught.  This has some vast implications attached to it, so pay close attention.  So here is Jesus’ explanation of what the sower is and what the seed is:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

Now Jesus begins to let us in on the secret, the sower is planting words.  Not just any words, though these are the Words of God according Luke 8:11.  However, we can also understand the concept that any words spoken can become seeds.  The problem is that many of these words are lies and half-truths and thus plant wrong things.  Only God’s Word is Absolute Truth.  What we have discovered is that words are seeds.  We can also say seeds are words.   We can also see that a sower is anyone that opens his or her mouth and speaks words.  How do the Genesis seed laws apply to words?  We have clearly learned that seeds always produce after their kind.  What is the Word of God a kind of?  What kind does the Word of God produce?  We have also learned that seeds are always in itself.  Now let’s examine some more of the parable:

Mar 4:4  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

What Jesus does is give us some new related topics about the planting of these seed words.  However, Jesus starts to shift the focus off of the sower and the seed and they are not technically mentioned after the beginning.  Jesus begins to describe the types of soil or ground that are being planted in.  Jesus also starts to reveal that the soil, the seed and the sower all have enemies.  The fowls of the air come to devour the seed and thus render them harmless, non-productive or ineffective.   Since the parable involves symbolic natural representations, we know that the birds of the air represent spiritual beings that we cannot see or perceive with our natural senses.   So let’s examine the explanation of Jesus for these new symbolic factors given to us:

Mar 4:15  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Jesus informs us that the soil is representative type of the hearts of people.  The human heart is not the physical blood pump organ.  The human heart in the Bible is their spirits.   Jesus also says that Satan is the enemy that is trying to steal the words of God from our hearts.  Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan the prince of the power of the air.  The earth’s atomosphere is the current domain of Satan.  This verse says that Satan comes immediately to steal the seed from us and that would be really bad news, if Satan could just take the word sown at will.  However, by reading in Matthew we learn some additional details on this subject.

Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

This is why it is important to read every occurence of a lesson so that we can learn all of the details.  This information in Matthew does not contradict the account written down by Mark, it only helps us to see what God is talking about more clearly.  What are the potential outcomes whenever you sit to listen to anyone speak at a lecture or in a class room at school?  I beleive that there are potentially three possibilities that can occur and your determination will cause the teacher’s words to either be  effective or to be ineffective.  You can ignore the teacher, you can hear and listen to the words only, or you can hear the words and get the understanding of them.  Hearing anything valuable to know and not understanding any of it does you little to no good.  In other words you derive no benefit of knowing the information.   There are a lot of people in the world that know Einstein’s equation of E=MC2, but very few that can actually teach you anything about what it means.  So what we discover is that understanding what you hear is the greater key factor to whether the devil can come and take it away from you.  That is a very important factor to learn.  Understanding of any subject is the key to holding on to that subject.  Keep in mind that we are talking about spiritual things here and not natural things.  We have spiritual seed which are spiritual words being planted into spiritual beings, which are responsible to hear them and then to understand them or the spiritual enemy, will come and take them from you.  Read through the rest of the parable and then I will discuss the symbols given in more detail:

Mar 4:5  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

Mar 4:6  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Mar 4:7  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

Mar 4:8  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

As you read through the rest of the parable, you discover God’s goal for giving us His seed.  God is looking for a people to produce spiritual fruit.  The majority of the parable is a lesson of why people either produce this fruit or why they are unable to produce this fruit.  If you know anything about farming, you know that the soil is not the master of the seed, but the seed is the master of the soil.  Whatever is planted into the soil is that which is harvested.  If you are the soil that Jesus is speaking of, then it matters what you allow in your ears.  Do you understand why Satan has dominated the TV and radio air waves with lies and perversions?   I guess we should stop and examine the soil in more detail.   There are actually 6 different types of soil listed in the parable.  They are generally representative of 4 different types of people on the planet and the list of soil types does not exclude anyone.  If you analyze the list slosely you can see that there are actually two groups of 3 that are being mentioned.  There are three soils that are representative of saved fruitful Christians and 3 soils that did not receive the seed and let it produce any fruit at all: 

Type of Soil Description
Wayside These are those that can hear, but that do not understand what is said.  Therefore Satan can steal the truth away from them very easily.
Stony Ground These are those that turn away because of affliction or persecution.  They lack any depth or foundational root knowledge.   They are easily offended.
Among Thorns These are those that care more about the things in the world, the distraction of riches, the natural lusts of the world.
Good Soil These are those that produce fruit.  A return of seed is multiplied to produce a bountiful supply.  Some 30 times, some 60 times and some 100 times.

We can learn a significant amount of information about why some people produce fruit and others are unable to.   What have we learned?  We have learned that God uses people to teach the Word of God and these are those that are sowing “good seed”.  However, we have also learned that this good seed has many enemies.  These things are designed to keep you from hearing and understanding the truth.  Satan is hard at work trying to keep people from bearing spiritual fruit for God.  God is looking for the spiritual fruit of the earth and that is one of the key factors that is keeping Him from returning for us today.  God sees the harvest field is potentially great on the earth and God wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:9).  The Bible says God has long patience for this spiritual harvest of fruit (James 5:7).   Here are the key symbolic elements listed in the parable and the descriptive meaning of each:

SYMBOL DESCRIPTION
SEEDS Spoken Word/Words
SOWER One who teaches with Words
Sowing The process of teaching people
SOIL The hearts/spirits of the people
Wayside Ground Those who are easily deceived, they have no understanding and barely hear it at all
Stony Ground Those that are easily tricked, those that have only a shallow understanding,  those that cave to pressure, those who are easily offended
Good Ground Those that hear and understand the Word of God and do not allow it to be stolen from them.
Evil Ground Those that are deceived, lost and asleep in the darkness.
Roots Those who have a strong foundation of the Word of God and are able to drink and partake of the Spirit of God.
Birds of the Air Spiritual enemies that try to take the truth from you.  Satan and his demons.
Thorns Natural and Carnal things that take your attention away from the truth.  It can be money, sex, drugs, alcohol, food, fame
Unfruitful Those that are spiritually barren, unable to produce spiritual fruit, those who are nigh to burning
Fruitful Spiritual Growth and Maturity, those who are doers of the Word of God and NOT hearers only.
Fruit Spiritual results of those which God is seeking to find and harvest into His barn

As you can see there are many valuable things to learn from this parable.  Seeds play a key role in the spread of the Kingdom of God.  Seed laws play a key role in understanding this teaching.  God’s word will always produce more people like God.  Those that let God’s word in, will grow and mature to be more like the one that gave us these SEED Words.  It is the spiritual seed law of Genesis repeated in the spiritual diemension.  A seed will always produce after its own kind.  The planting of God’s spiritual seed will always produce a spiritual harvest.  I think I will end this lesson here for now and expand it in my next lesson.

If you would like to continue reading this series, you can continue by going to “Part 4“.

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About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on July 26, 2010, in Bible Study, Seeds, Understanding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Bishop Charles Cephas

    Love this subject.

  2. God bless you my brother in Christ, God Bless You. Thank you for sharing such beautiful messages.

  3. Hi Sir,

    You stated that there are actually 6 different types of soil listed in the parable. Where did it state about evil ground and roots?

    • Mark 4:4-7 describe the 3 types of evil/bad hearts that fail to produce any fruit from the sown word of God. Mark 4:6 specifically emphasizes the need for roots to take place in the heart. A stony heart fails to allow God’s word to produce any roots. The stony ground are all those that hear but fail to be open minded enough to receive the word of God and they end up rejecting the word of God as a result of their own freewill. Thank you for your question and God Bless.

  4. Hi Sir,

    You stated that there are actually 6 different types of soil listed in the parable. Are the 6 soil wayside ground, stony ground, among thorns, good ground, evil ground and roots? Where was the evil ground and roots stated in the parable?

  5. Please contact me. I’d like to use this in my book. Great stuff!

    • I prefer that whatever I teach from God be given away for free. Please respect this condition of the agreement. Jesus said in Matthew “Freely you have received, therefore freely give”. Please also respect the words of Jesus. God Bless.

  6. I have really enjoyed reading this. thank you so much for such great knowledge. keep planting the seed, and I will also plant what I have received from you. God bless you and again thank you. I have read three pages and will continue my reading.

  7. Angelita Burgess

    Wow! That is quite a teaching!! Especially the Description part…..Extremely informative!

  8. Angelita Burgess

    One quick comment on God choosing to hide information…I have 2 thoughts on that…One is that God hides the information by making it so the carnal man cannot understand the things of the Spirit..We must have the Holy Spirit in us to comprehend the things of the Spirit of God

    And also I heard a long time ago someone said; Treasure is often buried because it is so valuable..God has hidden treasures for us to find in His word!

    • You are exactly correct. God gives men a choice to see or not to see. So the Bible was written as selective words that give every man the self determining right to believe whatever they like. Yet the truth is present but not fully evident on the surface. You may get glimpses of the truth by reading the Bible, but the deeper truth is only found by diligent study and work with the help of the Holy Spirit.

  9. Robert Gutierrez

    I had a question. In the beginning of this lesson, you wrote, “However, He placed an extraordinary emphasis on a certain subject as being a key to understanding all the other subjects found in the Bible. Jesus said that this one concept that He taught was more important to understand than any of the others found in the Bible.” Are these exact words of Jesus and if so, can you please give a scripture reference for this? Thank you and God bless.

  10. I really like what you wrote about understanding. I’ve read this parable dozens of times before but never really caught that point like the way you explained it. I immediately thought of the book of Proverbs which greatly urges us to get and keep understanding, and the consequences of those who lack understanding.

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