One of the most popular methods of teaching that Jesus used was parables.  He would offer a scenario or situation which was easily understood to drive home a spiritual truth.  One of the most recognizable of these parables is the parable of the sower or the parable of the soils.  This teaching can be found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.  One of the reasons that this parable is so well known is because this is one of the rare ones that Jesus explains to his disciples.  Jesus makes it known outright that this parable represents a follower of Christ spreading the word of God.  Through this propagation, the word of God (the seed) comes into contact with four different kinds of hearts (the soils) and produces different results.


It's a good reminder for us to examine this parable from time to time to refocus our thinking.  For example, this parable is so effective in highlighting that our role to play in the vineyard of the Lord is to spread the word.  We are not, for example, tasked with evaluation of the soils, nor in discriminating what locations may or may not be prepared for the word.  This is not to say that we aren't to be wise in our evangelism, but it shows us that we never know what hearts are ready for the word of God just based on our perspectives and prejudices. While we may know this, this parable is a nice reminder of our role.


Also, this parable is very helpful in encouraging us that our role as a sower in no way affects the seed.  We are charged to spread the word, and the word does its proper work.  The sower is not blamed in the result of the seed either bearing fruit or not.  This is an uplifting note to us to not be discouraged as we continue to do the work of the Lord. 


And there are many more lessons about our labor for God in parables just like this.  They may not be the main lesson, but they are nice things to notice about the detail that God put into His Word for us.  Let us resolve to reap as many lessons as we can from the Bible God provided and preserved for us.