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1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? 22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. 26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. 30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. 35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

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1 Cary W = "Our work before God is sowing the good seed in our heart and with those He brings to us.  To be fruitful in our sowing, we must continually prepare the soil of our hearts to well receive the Word, which is able to save our souls."
2 Deena E = ""there went out a sower to sow"This is one of my favorite parables!As Cary mentions, the ground in the parable refers to the heart of the recipient of the seed. The seed is the Word of the Sower (as illustrated in Isaiah 55:10-11) or the Word of God. Jesus describes 4 different kinds of ground (or people hearing the Word)."
3 Deena E = "Here are the 4 different types of people who hear the Word:(v4) fallen by the wayside-- this refers to those who hear the word but allow the devil to come in and immediately snatch the word. Ephesians 2:2-3 describes him as the prince of the power of the air.(v5-6) stony ground-- imagine trying to plant something in the concrete. There is no soil at all.There is no substance for the seed to take root. The sun (see Jonah 4:8), as Jesus describes in v.17, refers to affliction and persecution for the Son's sake. The seed or word, never takes root. Hearing the word is merely emotional and does not profit this person, as Paul describes in Hebrews 4:2.(v7) among the thorns-- this refers to those who get distracted with the cares of this life. Remember the Great Fall in Genesis 3? In v17-19 God tells Adam and Eve that the ground will now produce thorns. In other words, in their laboring they would have to endure painful, fleshly distractions. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul describes a thorn in his side or in his flesh. The Bible often uses the illustration of thorns when referring to something worldly or of the flesh and Jesus the seed that falls among thorns are those who produce no fruit because they are distracted by the cares of life.(v8) good ground-- these are those who receive the word and bear fruit. The word mixed with faith (Hebrews 4:2) is profitable and bears much fruit. Sadly, this represents only 1 in 4 people."
4 Deena E = "The seed is tiny and when sown into the ground, it remains unseen. But the time certainly comes when the manifestation of the seed reveals itself by the type of tree it becomes/fruit it bears. Likewise, our words and deeds produce fruit (good and/or bad). Only time brings forth the full revelation."