What does it mean?
1. What are your initial thoughts on the parable of the sower? Would you have imagined the
parable to mean something different before Jesus’ explanation of it? What do you think
his purpose is in telling the parable to this large crowd?
2. Why do you think Mark places this story immediately after Jesus declaring who is in his
3. Who do you think has ears to ear (v 9)?
4. What are the two reasons Jesus gives for speaking in parables in verses 11 and 12?
Why are some meant to not be understood?
5. If the parables are supposed to be apparent to those who have been given the “secret of
the kingdom of God” (v 11), why do the twelve still have such a hard time understanding?
6. Who is the sower? What do we know about him from Jesus’ initial telling of the parable
and then his explanation? Do you think it’s intentional that we don’t know much about
7. Why does Jesus describe so many options of soils rather than simply “bad soil” and
8. Who are those “along the path” in verse 15?
9. In verse 16, how does Jesus describe the seed sown on rocky ground?
10. What does it mean to have good soil, and what do the seeds sown by the sower produce in
those that have good soil?
11. What would you say this parable is about, the sower or the soil?
How does it apply?
1. What do the actions of the sower have to say about what our response should be to
receiving the word?
2. Can you think of any examples of people you’ve met or talked to that resemble some of the
types of soil that Jesus describes?
3. Do you have good soil? Describe what it might means for you to “bear fruit.”
4. How do we reconcile God’s sovereignty over the different soils and our responsibility to
continue sowing? What encouragement do we have in sharing the word with others?