Parable of the Sower

Saturday, September 20, 2014
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. In Greek, Parables mean to compare together. Today’s lesson is a parable about a Sower and is found in Mathew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-18.

In this lesson, Jesus was sitting by the Sea of Tiberius. There were a lot of people standing on the shore because they wanted to hear Jesus speak. Jesus went onto a boat and sat down to talk to them. Jesus taught many lessons using parables.
1. (hard soil) A Sower, being a person that is planting seeds or a farmer, is sowing seeds. (Pretend to reach inside the bag and throw out seed.) In Jesus’ time, farmers didn’t have the farm machinery we have now, so the farmer would have a sack with seed. He would walk across the field throwing it to plant it. So as the farmer threw the seeds some fell on the hard path of ground that had not been plowed or where people had walked and made the ground hard. Because the seeds couldn’t sink into the dug-up dirt, the birds came and ate the seeds.

Jesus is saying that some people will be like the hard soil, will not listen and brush off what you tell them about Jesus. They are too worried about their life and activities that they are involved in.
2. (stony ground) Some of the seeds fell on stony (rocky) ground. There was a thin layer of dirt on top but had stones underneath and was unable to get a good root. Those seeds grew fast, but when it became hot, they died right away.

Some people that are taught about Jesus are like the stony ground. They will listen and be baptized, then fall away and not stay faithful to God.
3. (thorny ground) Some of the seeds fell into thorns. The thorns grew up and choked the seeds.

There are other people that hear about Jesus, and like the thorns, they won’t want anything to do with you or Jesus.
4. (good ground) But the other seeds fell on good ground. It brought good fruit. Jesus doesn’t expect us to all bring in the same fruit, like bringing the same number of friends to worship service or teaching our friends about Jesus. He does expect us all to do the best we can!

Jesus told us in this parable that you will have those who are like the good soil. The seed will get planted and they will grow. They will listen, study the Bible with you and learn, be baptized and be faithful telling their friends about God.

Everyone we meet is different, same as the different soils that the seeds were planted in, people we teach will react different. Think about your friends, or neighbors, or family that you might tell about Jesus. God's Word, the Bible is the seed Jesus is telling us about.

Jesus ended the parable by saying He who has ears, let him hear (we have 2 ears!). Jesus wants everyone to listen to His words. But not everyone will do His will.
I made this sower bag (my husband is wearing it so I could take the picture). Super easy to sew. I made the strap 4' long and 3" wide. The fabric is a type of burlap. I cut the fabric 24" X 30", folded it half so it is long with right sides together. I sewed the 2 sides together, then folded and sewed the edge round the top to finish it off. I folded the strap edges toward the center, (fold over one end to cover salvage if necessary), then attached to the sides. As I told the Bible lesson, I pretended to "sow the seeds". Simple, but great for this age group! While I talked about the last soil, the good soil, I handed out fruit snacks from the bag, of course, they loved that!

This is the visual aids that I set up for this lesson: I used 4 plastic containers and I added dirt in each. The first was dirt with a lot of clay, and I made it hard on top. I added seeds the biggest seeds on top that I could find and found the small blackbirds at Michaels. For the second visual, I added rocks and artificial flower stems w/o the flowers. The third one had straw-like vines and thorns (which I will add real ones the morning before class from a rose bush). The last visual had the good ground, and I used a healthy house plant, or you can use the container with dirt that they can run their fingers through and green artificial/real healthy plants.
I made this worksheet as a discussion starter. What does the word of God tell us as Christians to do or say to 'sow the seed'? So, there are seeds with a line to write things we can do, and the what the result can be from the good seed. The download has color and black & white. Click here to print it.
If you want to make the sower bag, or a basket, you can use these seeds to 'toss' to the kids. They have a blank space on them for the students to write whatever you decide. The scripture tells us that the seed is the word of God, what is that. Or what words (seeds) of God can we 'sow' to bring others to Jesus? The download has both color and black & white. You can print them here.
You can also use this printable as a cut & glue worksheet. The teacher's download has all the grounds in place like the photo. The students has the four grounds on the next page for them to cut and glue.

Bible Verse: Luke 8:11 
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.
All are not shown. There are real photos included in the color file.
Click here to download the pictures to color.
(These are the same as the visuals but are black & white.)  
Click here to print Parables (1) poster.
Or, an updated version of a Parable visual:

Poster with Jesus: Print here.

Poster Without Jesus: Print here.


  1. I'm currently typing my Pastor's PowerPoint for tomorrow. It's based on Luke 8:1-15 and I was looking for inspiration when I came across a photo from your blog which of course brought me to your blog! As I looked at the picture I instantly thought this would translate well as a science fair project -- making a hypothesis of which type of soil produces the best and them testing through to a conclusion. Love poking around your blog. You have great ideas. And, I'm now a Pinterest follower! :)

  2. At first glance, I almost didn't read your post because I am an empty-nester with no grandchildren. Sunday school is a thing of the past. I'm in a place right now where children do not enter very often...or they enter with fear and trepidation (just kidding). But since your post was right after mine in the WHH Linkup, I wanted to do you the courtesy of reading. Sometimes we need to be like little children to understand something and your explanation and visuals are terrific! I'm going to pin this (if I can figure out how...for now, I'll just copy down your url) and give it to our new Christian Ed Director. This is great! Thank you.

  3. One of my favorite parables! Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

  4. As always I love the visuals!! Also thank you for the printables! Great resources! Thank you for linking up at Theology Thursdays FOR KIDS!!!!

  5. Thanks for linking at Mondays @ Soul Survival! Blessings!

  6. I am having trouble downloading the visuals for the story. When I click on "visual aids are here" it says the domain is for sale. I figure I am doing something wrong. Help lol :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know! It has been corrected and the matching pictures to color has been added.


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