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Parables Bible Study 1B: The Sower

Title: Parables Bible Study 1B: The Sower

Subject: The Kingdom of Heaven

Age: 13+ years

Locations: All three synoptic Gospels

  • Matthew, 13.3-13
  • Mark, 4.1-20
  • Luke 8.4-15

Handout for note taking: Bible Study Worksheet

Begin the bible study with a prayer. Read the passage, and then allow time for quiet reflection. Share the following notes on the parable.

The Parable of the Sower is possibly the best known, and is regarded as the Lord's first parable. The Lord's reason for using parables as a specific teaching device is given in this parable. The explanation of the parable by the Lord is easy enough to understand: seeds are sown:

  • Wayside
  • Stony Places
  • Thorns
  • Good Ground

For our purposes imagine a path. The path on either side is bordered by the hard packed earth that borders a well used path; then there are the stones that line themselves on either side, and then we have weeds and thorns. Beyond this is good soil. It is easy for us to imagine then how the seeds are situated within this parable:

  • There are those on the wayside: a hard place, a place where a seed, the word, cannot penetrate; it is a sterile place, a place of unclean spirits.
  • There are those in the stones that also form part of the border: a faith without roots; someone who goes to church but forgets the holy teachings heard there.
  • There are those that fall among the weeds and thorns that border the stones: those who mistakenly think that the cares of this world can co-exist side by side with the demands of the Gospel; these weeds choke the tender shoots of faith
  • And finally, those that end up in good soil

We can also imagine a sower sowing their seed and how the process inevitably results in seed landing here and there. Finally, we have to connect our hearts with the various locations that are described. Our hearts are wayside, stony, thorny, good and fertile soil.

Within this parable are a few analogies:

  • The Seed represents the doctrine of Christ.
  • The Ground represents the souls of human beings.
  • The Sower is Christ Himself.

We must also remember the Sower does not hold back His seed even when He knows what will happen to some of it. This action would of course be avoided by an earthly farmer. However, the Heavenly Farmer, Jesus Christ, does not discriminate or hold back the Gospel. All are called, all are given a chance. Why? Even the wayside can become soft, rich, deep soil. Every human heart can be converted and made fruitful.

For consideration and reflection:

  • What type of heart do I have?
  • Is my heart prepared to receive the seed?
  • If not, what must I do to prepare the soil of my soul?
  • Do I share the seed with everyone?
  • Have I held back God's word and the experience of Christ from others?

At this time, read the passage once more and allow time for quiet reflection. If there is time, you may have a discussion about this parable.

End the bible study with a prayer.

Prepared by Fr. Evan Armatas

Click the link to return to the Parables Bible Study page or continue to Parables Bible Study 2: The Wheat and the Tares.


Click on the title below to obtain each lesson currently available within the series.

Camp Emmanuel 

Children's Parables 

The Christian Life 


The Great Feasts 

I AM (Leader Edition)  

I AM (Participant Edition)  

Introduction to Orthodoxy  

Parables Bible Study  

The Prophecies  


Second Sundays