Four Soils

What is a parable?

· An earthly story with a moral or heavenly meaning. A story meant to simplify or explain a difficult concept.

Why did Christ speak in parables?

Isaiah 55:8-9 (to help us understand)
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Matthew 13:10-13 (because some will not come to faith regardless of what they see or hear)
10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

A couple of points about studying parables:
· It is always important to understand the intended audience of the parable.
· It is ‘dangerous’ to extrapolate beyond the intended meaning of the parable.

The parable of the four soils:

Matthew 13:1-9
1The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Any thoughts on what Christ is talking about hear?

Christ tells us the meaning of this parable.

Luke 8:11-16
11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Hearing the Word of God can impact people in four different ways:
1. Wayside People – Those that hear, but reject the Word of God and are not saved.
2. Rock Hearted People – Those that hear the Word of God and have an emotional response, yet don’t accept the truth in there hearts. They fall away when temptation comes.
3. Thorny People – Those that hear the Word of God and are then overcome by the things of this world (worry, money, pursuit of happiness). They don’t accept God and make other things (idols) more important than Him.
4. Saved People – Those that hear the Word of God, accept it in their hearts, are saved and serve God according to His will.

Additional Points of Discussion

You can know/recognize/believe that Christ is the Son of God and not be saved. Just as you may know a certain medicine can cure your sickness, but if you don’t take it, it won’t heal you.

James 2:19
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Matthew 8:28-29
28And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

So what is this verse about the candle saying?

If the light of Christ is shining through you, you can’t hide it (and shouldn’t want to).

Matthew 5:14-16
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Father, may Your precious Word land on good soil in our hearts. If save, may we grow closer to You each time we hear Your Word. If unsaved, may the truth of Your Word bring us to a saving knowledge of the sacrifice of Christ, Your Son, for our sins. Amen.