Jesus was traveling through the countryside, preaching and healing people in every city and village. With Him were His helpers—the 12 special disciples, several women who traveled with Jesus and helped Him, and other friends who followed Him.
When Jesus and His friends reached the sea of Galilee, people from all around came to join them. They came to be healed and to hear the good news Jesus told them about the kingdom of heaven.
There were so many people crowding close to Jesus, they pushed Him right to the edge of the water. He stepped into a boat, and His helpers rowed the boat a little way out from shore. This way, Jesus could talk to all the people, and they could all see and hear Him.
“A sower went out to sow,” said Jesus. The people looked at the hills around them. They could see the farmers in their fields tossing seeds left and right from the bags they carried.
“Some of the seeds fell on the path and were walked on, or eaten by the birds. Some fell on rocks, and, as soon as they sprouted, they withered away: they could get no moisture because they had no roots. Some seeds fell among thorns. They grew up, but so did the thorns—and the thorns choked the good plants.
“But other seeds fell on good ground. They grew up and yielded a crop. Some of the grains produced as many as a hundred new grains.”
After Jesus talked to the people and healed the sick ones, most of them went away. Only His friends who traveled with Him were left. They asked Jesus, “What did you mean by the story of the sower?”
Then Jesus explained it to them. “The seed is the Word of God. People who are like the hard path, hear the Word of God, but Satan comes and snatches the Word out of their hearts. People who are like the stony ground receive God’s Word joyfully, but they have no roots. As soon as trouble or temptation comes, they turn away. Those who are like the thorny field believe, but soon their minds and hearts are filled with problems and worry. They are too busy trying to make money to have time for God.
“But the people who are like the good ground have good and honest hearts. They hear the Word of God, keep it always in their hearts, and tell it to many others.”
Now the disciples and other friends of Jesus understood the story. Jesus was the Sower, sowing the seed, which is the Word of God. The ground was the hearts of the people. The Sower was the same in each case, and so was the seed. Whether the seed grew depended on where it fell.
When we allow the Word of God to come into our minds and hearts, it is like sowing seeds of faith, prayer, love, helpfulness, patience and kindness there.
Is your heart good ground for the Word of God? If you ask Jesus to prepare your heart, He will answer your prayer.
Read the story of the sower. It is found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.
“Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11