Jesus teaches with stories: The farmer and his field

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 4 - Jesus, the great teacher - Part 12

Previous article | Life of Jesus Christ Index | *Word List | Next article


An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

Easy English Bible homepage | Matthew (commentary) | Mark (commentary) | Luke (commentary) | John (commentary)


Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.

Jesus often told stories when he was teaching people. This is a very good way to teach, because people remember stories. We call his stories parables. (A parable is a story that teaches us a truth about God. Or, the story shows us behaviour that pleases God.) The stories of Jesus are very easy to remember. They are very important. They help us to know what God wants.

A favourite story is the parable of the farmer and his field. This is often called 'the parable of the sower'. [A sower is a farmer who is sowing his seed.]

The story of the parable of the sower [that is, the story of the farmer and his field]

The story is simple. A farmer sows seed in a field:

  Some seed falls on the paths, and the birds quickly eat it.

  Some seed falls where there are rocks, and not much soil. Plants grow quickly, but soon the sun dries them. There is not enough soil, and the plants die.

  Some seed begins to grow in a place where there are too many weeds. The weeds stop the growth of the plants, and the plants die.

  But other seed falls on good ground. So, the plants grow well. The farmer has a harvest from these plants.

The explanation of the parable of the sower

The explanation of the story is also simple. Jesus himself explained it to the *disciples. The farmer is like Jesus. The seed that he sows is the seed of the good news about Jesus. The farmer sows the seed in many different places, just as Christians tell God's good news in many different places. What happens to the seed is different in different places. It is the same with the good news about Jesus. It has a good result in the lives of some people, and it has a poor result in other lives.

The first seed fell on the path, where there was no soil. Some people hear the good news but give no attention to it at all. This is like the seed on the path. These people do not change their behaviour. These people do not think about other people. They are selfish. They quickly forget about the good news.

Some seed falls where there are rocks. It grows quickly, but then it dies. This teaches us that some people listen to the good news. They seem to like what they hear about Jesus. But this does not last. They have a difficult time, or other people laugh at them. Then they have no more interest in Jesus. They never really trusted him.

Some seed began to grow among weeds, and the weeds killed it. This teaches us that some people have no time for Jesus. They are selfish, and they want things for themselves. Perhaps they want to be rich, or to be powerful. They worry all the time. They are anxious about their possessions.

Finally we hear in the story about seed on good ground. The good ground is like people who love the Lord. They believe in Jesus and they trust him. God will *bless these people. His *Holy Spirit will help them to love other people. They will be able to forgive other people, and to live in peace with them. They will be joyful. This is because God can change them. He changes the inside of these people, and this changes their behaviour.

A lesson from the parable of the sower

This parable can teach us about ourselves. God will *bless those people who trust him. We learn from this parable the same truths as we learn from the *beatitudes. When we know that we need Jesus, we should trust him. When we really trust him, he will teach to us. We will change, because Jesus will change us.

But ask yourself this question: what kind of soil are you like?


Some more parables [stories with a meaning] that Jesus told:


2002-2005, MissionAssist