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Lesson 136: The Parable of the Sower

Updated: May 24, 2022

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INSTRUCTIONS. The parable of the sower is one of only three parables (the sower, the mustard seed, the wicked husbandman) that is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Also, it is one of the few parable Jesus explained for his disciples and others with them. Some have called the parable of the sower, the parable of parables, because it really contains four parables in one with each emphasizing one basic truth.

In New Testament times farming was simple. The common ground in Palestine was divided into long narrow strips. There was no fence around the strips, but separating were beaten as hard as pavement from the many passers-by. In many areas the land consisted of outcroppings of bedrock, and the surface of this rocky terrain was covered with only a thin layer of soil. Ridding the ground of thorny weeds was a continual problem. If the roots escaped the plow or if the weeds had produced seeds, a new growth of thorny weeds was inevitable.

The farmer carried his seed in a bag which slung around his neck and shoulders. In the fall when the long, hot summer was ended, the farmer walked through the field and cast or broadcast the seed upon the ground. Then he plowed the field to cover the seed, waited for the winter rain to germinate the seed, and looked forward to the harvest the following year.

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