Jesus was teaching by the seashore at the Sea of Galilee. Such a large crowd of people gathered that Jesus moved onto a boat so everyone could see and hear Him. He taught them in parables and began with one about a farmer.
“There was a farmer who went out to plant seeds in his field. He walked up and down the rows, throwing seeds as he went.
“Some seeds landed where there wasn’t a furrow, and birds came and ate them.
“Some seeds landed on rocky ground. They weren’t able to put down roots, and so they were dried up by the sun.
“Some fell among thorny weeds and were choked out.
“Finally, some fell into the good ground and were able to grow until they were producing fruit. Some produced thirty fruits, others sixty, and others 100.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
After Jesus had finished this story, the disciples gathered around Him.
“Why do you teach in parables?” asked one.
“I speak in parables so that those who are prepared to hear my message will understand, and those who aren’t won’t. You are my disciples and I will teach you to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. These people have closed their spiritual eyes and ears, so they will not understand my words,” said Jesus. “Let me explain this parable to you.
“The seeds are the children of men. The seeds eaten by birds symbolize those who have heard the word of God but were taken in sin by the devil.
“Those in stony places represent the people who hear the word, but of their own will do not allow it to work in them. They are not rooted in the gospel, so when the heat of trial or offense comes, they do not have anything to hold on to and dry up.
“Those that fall in thorny weeds are those who cannot separate their desires for the kingdom of God from the cares of the world. They focus on riches and status and are choked by their competing wishes.
“Those that fall into good ground are those that hear and understand the word of God. These grow fruit through their good works, some thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred.”