The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed secrets of God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10-13.)
The parable of the sower would have resonated with those listening because they would have been familiar with the practice of sowing or planting seeds. But the parable had a deeper meaning. It contained a lesson about God’s Word and the responses of those who hear it.
In the parable, a sower’s seeds fell in four different places. Some of the seeds fell along the path, where they were eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground. Those seeds had no roots, so they withered in the sun. Other seeds fell among thorns, and they were choked out. Other seeds fell on good soil, and they produced a crop—a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was planted.
After Jesus told the parable, He explained it to His disciples. The soil represents people’s hearts, and the seed is the word about God’s kingdom. The person whose heart is like the hard soil hears the good news about God, but he does not understand it or he rejects it. The person whose heart is like the rocky soil is quick to receive the truth, but when life gets hard, he falls away. The person whose heart is like the thorny soil cares more about the things of the world than the good news about God, and the seed cannot grow. The person whose heart is like the good soil hears the good news about God and receives it. He bears fruit, more than what was planted. In the life of a believer, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is evident.
Jesus is the Sower who shared the truth about God’s kingdom. His followers continue to share the truth today, and those who understand and accept the gospel become more like Jesus.
Still today, people respond to the gospel in various ways. Pray that God will give your kids receptive hearts so that they will hear, understand, and be changed by the good news about Jesus.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
○ Jesus told stories about God.
○ Jesus told a story about the good news.
○ Jesus wants us to hear and believe the good news.
○ Jesus’ followers tell other people about Him.
○ Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
○ Jesus taught that not all people will believe in Him.
○ Why did Jesus tell parables? Jesus told parables to teach people about God and His kingdom.
○ Not everyone who hears the gospel believes it.
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