Parables of the Bible: The Sower

The Hard Ground

Parables are stories and illustrations that compare things/situations and are intended to teach a truth, a religious principle, or a moral lesson. Jesus used parables to teach truth in a simplistic way.  On one particular occasion, Jesus found Himself surrounded by a crowd of people after a long day of harassment by the Pharisees, and He began to teach the crowd truth using parables.

Matthew 13:3-4, 18-19 AMP

3 He told them many things in [a]parables, saying, “Listen carefully: a sower went out to sow[seed in his field]; 4 and as he sowed, some seed fell beside the road [between the fields], and the birds came and ate it. 

18 “Listen then to the[meaning of the] parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom [regarding salvation] and does not understand and grasp it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

The disciples asked Jesus why He would teach in this manner and Jesus told them in so many words, you have knowledge, but these people don’t have the knowledge you have. I speak to them in parables, because ‘they have eyes – they look but don’t see; and they have ears – they listen but don’t understand.

In this parable, the truth of the Word (seed) falls on hard, impenetrable ground (heart) and makes no impression, producing no change of heart and is eventually snatched up by the birds (enemy). This reality is endemic of our society today. Increasingly our society doesn’t believe in absolute truth and they have become interested in their own truth. But can anyone’s truth be truth at all? Truth is defined as “conformity to a standard”. Using time as an example, world time is has a standard called Coordinated Universal Time and it governs all time zones across the globe. It is the standard and anything that contradicts that time is considered inaccurate.

Your personal beliefs/convictions are not absolute truth. There is only one standard for absolute truth and that is God and His Word. It is His very nature and character that define what is right and wrong, good and evil, and true and untrue. So, while moral (absolute) truth cannot be subjective, your personal beliefs can be.

Anytime “your truth” supersedes God’s Word, you do what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden by their sin - you make yourself God. When God becomes a projection of what we value in our own humanness, He ceases to be God in our life. You can’t bring God down to your level of understanding and acceptance.

Understand this: It is the enemy’s desire that we be lost. So, he wants you to reject God’s truth. As the father of lies and deception, the enemy wants you to be blind, deceived, uninformed and powerless. He wants to rob you of the good treasure of God’s Word. Jesus made it clear for us about what truth is when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In other words, truth is actually personified in Jesus. When you see Him, you see truth. And, the wonderful thing is that you can know truth if you know Him.