And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;Matthew 13:3
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: … The sower soweth the word.Mark 4:3, 14
A sower went out to sow his seed: …Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.Luke 8:5a, 11
The seed, according to Jesus, is the word of God. This is the preached word or gospel. So what is being described is the preaching of the gospel most likely in a formal worship setting, but it could on any occasion where a man called of God is preaching truth.
There are some important things to notice about what stays the same throughout the story and what elements are different.
The sower is the same in all four cases. Further, the seed was cast in broadcast. There was not a different technique used for different situations.This means that we do not need different preachers for different occasions or ages of people. God has wisely designed His church as the pillar and ground of the truth, and He provides all that is needed for the entire congregation through the gift of the ministry in the pastor and other ordained gospel ministers in each church. This excludes the “need” for auxiliary organizations or Sunday School classes which are often taught by the untrained. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we see families worshipping and learning together. Jesus’ example of the sower in this parable clearly shows this single teacher model.
Another element that does not change in the story is the seed. The same seed is sown in all types of ground. The message of the gospel does not need alteration or simplification. It just needs to be preached without mixing in the philosophies and traditions of men. Those additional elements are what causes so much confusion. There is not a specific gospel just for children, adults, poor, rich, etc.
The only thing that varies in this parable is the type of soil on which the seed falls. Three out of the four types of soil had little or no production, and the fourth had varying amounts of fruit. As we will see in the next few articles, it is the responsibility of the hearer to prepare himself to receive the gospel so that he can be profitable in the kingdom of God.