What type of soil am I?

parable of the sower

“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As He scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots hadn’t grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up.

Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and chocked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”

And Jesus concluded, “Listen then, if you have ears!” (Matthew 13: 3-9)

The purpose of the parables

Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them. For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him the little he has.

The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them:

‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand;

They will look and look, but not see, because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes.

Otherwise, their eyes would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’

As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. I assure you that many prophets and many of God’s people wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.” (Matthew 13: 10-16).

Jesus explains the parable of the sower

“Listen then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. Those who hear the message about the message about the kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in them.

The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. But it does not sink deep into them, and they don’t last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once.

The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit.

And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.” (Matthew 13: 18-23).

Understanding the parable

In the parable, Jesus talked about the sower. He is the sower; the one who doesn’t choose or discriminate against anyone. He preaches about the Kingdom of Heaven to anyone who cares to listen. He even gives chances to those who might not even listen, and He does it tirelessly; without giving up.

The seeds on the other hand, are the gospel and we are the soil. Some of us are likened to the soil along the path, others to rocky ground, others to thorny bushes and others to good soil, depending on how we understand the gospel, and our faith in relation to it.

This parable used by Jesus helps us reflect on the kind of people we are. How strong is our faith?

“What type of soil am I?” This is the question we need to ask ourselves.


9 thoughts on “What type of soil am I?

  1. threekidsandi

    Parables were traditionally used in Jewish communities at the time. I cannot imagine anyone asking him why he talked like that, it was so common. Maybe that was a Gentile. Just speculating.

    1. alygeorges Post author

      I think they asked because they expected Him to speak clearly without using hidden meanings. Your speculation gives one something to think about. Interesting. 🙂

  2. diademstots

    Most times when this parable us told we focus solely on the soil, I liked the fact that you takjed about the sower too, he dosen’t choise or discriminate against anyone, he even gives chances to those who might not listen, and he does it tirelessly, I think we can learn from the Lord here, do we share the news of the gospel with every one we can or only to those we believe are nice though not believers. Great reminder too about what kind of faith we have.

    1. alygeorges Post author

      That’s a good point you raise there; do we share the news with everyone or do we only tell it to a few? We need to learn from Jesus. He never discriminated against anyone and gave everyone a chance. We should be like that too. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  3. Susan Irene Fox

    This is my favorite of his parables. In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan says, “Never assume you are good soil.” I’m with him. I think most of us are the soil with the thorns. We worry too much, we covet too much, we let too much stand in the way of the message of the gospel. We let these things choke the freedom and the grace from the gift He gave us. We need a daily dose of His living water to keep the soil rich and free of those thorns so His seed can grow into what it was intended.

    Great post; great question.

    1. alygeorges Post author

      Thank you Susan. I’m thinking about what you’ve said; most of us reading the post feel we are the good soil. But a closer look at the lives we lead reveals we are the thorny bushes, only that by God’s grace we slowly turn into the good soil. It’s true, we need a daily dose of His living water… because without it, we would be anything but good soil.


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