Parable of the Four Soils

As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. Matthew 13:4-8 HCSB

As a teenager I was a member of the Future Farmers of America. I served as the chaplain and on the parliamentary procedure team. I also competed at the state fair judging cows. One activity I really enjoyed was having my own garden and learning how to plant, cultivate, fertilize, and harvest vegetables. I learned the importance of preparing the soil before planting. Soil that is hard and has not been cultivated will not produce very good vegetables. It is also important to water and fertilize the soil so the plants get the proper nourishment to grow.

The people would have been very familiar with planting and harvesting crops. Jesus used this familiar experience to teach an important spiritual principle. The different types of soils represented the lives of different people. Some hear the Gospel but never respond like the seed that falls on hard ground. Others hear the Gospel and receive it but they don’t have any real roots, and when hard times come they are not strong enough to withstand the temptations of our world. The thorns represent the evil people of the world that too often lead people astray and keep them from becoming all that God intended. The good soil represents those who receive the Gospel and then grow in their relationship with Christ and impact the world.

Challenge: If Christ were to assign a soil to you as representative of your life, which soil would He say you are most like? Pray that you will be one who produces a crop 100 times more than what was sown.

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