A sower went out to sow his seed
By whom Jesus Christ is chiefly designed; though it is true of every preacher of the Gospel: who goes forth, being sent by Christ, with the precious seed of the word: for the phrase, "his seed", which only Luke has, best agrees with Christ, he being the proprietor and subject of it. The Alexandrian copy reads, "the seed of himself", The Persic version reads the whole clause thus, "a sower chose ground, and there he sowed seed": he fixed on the spot of ground to sow his seed in, as Christ did on the people of the Jews, and afterwards the Gentiles.
And, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside;
on the road, which was by the side of the field, in which people commonly walked, and so was beaten hard, and the seed lay upon it, and was not received; which designs such hearers of the word, as are not susceptive of it, do not take it in, and have no manner of understanding of it.
And it was trodden down;
by every one that passed by, as the Gospel preached to such hardened and ignorant hearers, is despised and trampled under foot by them.
And the fowls of the air devoured it;
who generally flock about places where seed is sowing; and here intend the devil and his angels, that have their dwelling in the air; and frequent places of public worship to hinder the usefulness of the ministry of the word, as much as in them lies.