The parable of the sower
A striking characteristic of Jesus’s teaching is his use of parables—short, simple stories that both reveal and conceal truth. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The parables of Jesus are easily remembered, easily repeated, and are some of the best-known stories in the world. Matthew 13 contains seven parables, each of which tells us something about “the kingdom of heaven.” One of the more famous is the first of the seven, the parable of the sower, which Jesus explained in verses 18-23.
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.