The Parable of the Four Soils

Essay by icecold52High School, 12th grade April 2005

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A parable is a short story that has a moral and usually contains a religious lesson. The Parable of the Four Soils was a story told by Jesus and can be found in the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He told this tale to a crowd of people gathered at a lake. The crowd became so large that Jesus had to teach his parables from a boat on the lake. According to the Book of Luke, Jesus told his followers:

A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden sown, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up and bare fruit an hundredfold.

The four different soils in this parable represent four different ways people can respond to God's message. The seeds along the path are people whom as soon as they hear the word, Satan comes and takes it away. People who are at first receive the word with joy but only for a short time are symbolized by seeds sown on rocky ground. When the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things choke the word, making it unfruitful people are akin to the seeds sown among thorns. The seed that fell on good ground, however, represents someone who hears the word, accepts it, and produces a crop that can be a hundred times what was sown.

The Parable of the Four Soils is a recurring story in the bible. It is found in...