Of course we have heard this parable many times. (Note that I have lengthened the title a bit. I don’t want the soil to feel left out!). However, I wonder if we ever realized its unique characteristics. For instance, I don’t believe there is any parable that Jesus goes to such great lengths to make sure that His disciples understand its meaning. Therefore, it probably makes sense for us to spend some time with it. Jesus certainly did! Another unique characteristic of the parable is that at each of the main ingredients (sower, seed, and soil) can stand for us. At times we are called to be the sower who lavishly throws the seed around indiscriminately on good soil and bad. Other times we may be called to be the seed itself-the seed which grows and develops as God would have it do. Still other times we are called to be the good soil that nourishes and provides for the seed so that it can grow. The point of it all is that the sower is going to sow the seed and a harvest is going to be reaped. The only question is how fruitful the harvest will be? And that is determined by both the lavishness of God and our desire for the seed to be nourished.