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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Parable of the Soil (Matthew 13)

Jesus started teaching in parables as the religious leaders started attacking his teaching. Ironic I would get to this chapter just as Facebook has started censoring my devotions. This helps me understand the reason for parables. So, what do we learn from this one?


Jesus tells a parable about a sower going out to sow seed. The seed fell on four different kinds of soil. The condition of the soil determined whether the seed grew and took root or died:

Kind of Soil

Soil Description

What happens to Seed

Beside Road

Hard Ground

Birds ate seed

On Rocky Places

Thin Soil

Seed couldn't take root

Among Thorns

Fertile & Full of Thorns

Thorns choked out seed

Good Soil

Fertile, Weed Free

Seed grew & yielded crop

Then Jesus explains the parable. The seed is God's Word. The soil is the condition of our heart and how we respond to God's Word based on whether our heart is focused on the World or on God:

Kind of Soil

How Soil Responds

What happens to Seed

Beside the Road

​v19 - Hardened heart, does not understand

​v19 - Evil One snatches the Seed away

On Rocky Places

​v20 - Receives with Joy immediately (thin soil, sprang up quickly)

​V21 - Falls away when persecution rises or times get tough

Among Thorns (World)

​v22 - Hears the Word (focused on the World)

​V22 - The World chokes the Word out

​Good Soil

​v23 - Hears the Word & Understands it

​V23 - Seed takes root and bears fruit

In verse 13, Jesus talks about those with eyes who do not see and those with ears who do not hear. Many people are living life today without understanding what is going on spiritually in this world. They don't see the connection to current events and Bible prophecy. But when we obediently study God's Word and dig into Bible prophecy, our eyes are opened and we clearly see what is going on around us. Then our heart yearns for those around us to have eyes to see and ears to hear. So what can we do?

Kind of Soil

How Soil Responds

What we can do

Beside the Road

v19 - Hardened heart, does not understand

Pray for opportunities to share when they are open and willing to hear & obey.

On Rocky Places

v20 - Receives with joy immediately (thin soil, sprang up quickly)

Start discipling them in the first 10 days after they receive God's Word

Among Thorns (World)

v22 - Hears the Word (focused on the World)

Pray; Warn them about the World's influence & their need to turn to Jesus

Good Soil

v23 - Hears the Word & Understands it

Disciple them; pray for them

In verse 8, Jesus said, "others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." What does that mean?


It means the amount of time and effort you invest in building up God's kingdom (telling others about Jesus, discipling them, and praying for them) corresponds to the return you will see on your investment.


The more you study God's Word, pray, draw close to Jesus, and share God's Word with others, the more you are going to get to see Him working in the lives around you.


Is there someone close to you who is far from God? Have you talked to them and tried to help them understand but gotten no where? How much time are you spending every single day praying for them? Beg God to see them become fertile soil instead of soil focused on the World.


Dear Lord, You call all of us to be sowers. As we obey your command to sow, we have no control of the kind of soil Your Word lands on. But Lord I pray that Your Holy Spirit would speak through us and that Your Word would penetrate hearts deeply, finding fertile soil to take root and grow. Lord, I pray for those distracted by the World who can't seem to let go and focus on You. I pray that today would be the day that they would see the need to turn away from the World and totally commit their lives to You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.



Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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