bible study devotion

Parable of the sower: devotion

Dr Andrew C S Koh

book cover


Heavenly Father, bless us as we listen to Your word and be transformed. May the soil of our heart will be fruitful so that Your word will be able to take roots deeply and produce fruits. In Jesus’s name, Amen.


Jesus taught by the Sea of Galilee. In the last chapter, Jesus’ mother and half-brothers thought He was mad. The Jews accused Him of being demon-possessed. Now He spoke to the multitude from a boat, as a floating pulpit, teaching them in parables. A parable or parabola in Greek is an earthly story, usually an agricultural story, to explain a spiritual truth. It is a worldly story with a heavenly meaning. One-third of Jesus’ teachings were in parables.

Mark 4:3-9

3 Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have 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 seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased, and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. 9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”


A sower went out to sow seeds. Some seeds fell on the wayside, trodden by feet and eaten by birds. Some seeds fell on stony ground, and grew immediately but dried up just as quickly. Some seeds fell among thorns, grew but choked by thorns, and yielded no crop. Some seeds fell on good ground, grew healthily, and became fruitful.

The seed is the word of God, the gospel message. The sower could be Jesus, the disciples, or Christians,m. This is the sower of the seed of the gospel message. The soil is the human heart. The human heart is deceitful and unfruitful, Jeremiah 17:9.

Jeremiah 17:9, ‘’The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’’ There are four types of human hearts.


When you preached the gospel, it will land on four kinds of people, represented by the soil types:

1). Wayside, the indifferent heart, where seeds cannot penetrate and are eaten by birds or satan. They are not open to spiritual truth, stubborn, and will not listen.

2). Stony ground, the emotional heart, where there is no depth or roots. They had an initial shallow response but when hardship or suffering comes along, they fell out of faith and stop growing.

3). Thorny ground, the divided heart, a lukewarm Christian. They believed but could not dissociate with the world. The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for material things made them too busy for God.

4). Good ground, the fruitful heart, who heard, believed, grew, and bear fruits, Psalm 1:3

Evangelism is very rewarding because the return of investment is so incredible. A 30-fold increase is 3000%, a 60-fold increase is 6000%, and a 100-fold increase is 10,000%. There is no earthly investment with such returns!

Psalm 1:3, He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper


Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the key to understanding the parable of the sower. Thank You for showing us that evangelism produces such an incredible return of investment. There is no investment in the world that is able to match a return of this magnitude. Help us to s