The Parable of the Sower was told to the crowd that had gathered around Jesus. Jesus tells a story of a sower who scattered seeds on four different types of soil. The first type of ground was hard and the seed could not sprout or grow at all and became snatched up instantly. The second type of ground was stony. The seed was able to plant and begin to grow, however it could not grow deep roots and withered in the sun. The third type of ground was thorny and although the seed could plant and grow, it could not compete with the amount of thorns that overtook it. The fourth ground was good soil that allowed the seed to plant deep, grow strong, and produce fruit.
Jesus used this parable to explain to his followers and the disciples how there are different responses to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The sower in the parable is Jesus and the seed is the word of God (both Jesus's spoken word and today the Bible). The hard ground represents someone with a hardened heart full of sin that hears the word of God but does not accept it. Satan is able to keep this person from growing at all. The stony ground is someone who shows interest and awareness in the Gospel, yet his heart isn't fully convicted so that when trouble comes his faith is not strong enough to stand. The thorny ground is a person who receives the Gospel but who has many other idols and distractions in life - worries, riches, and lusts, which take over his mind and heart and he cannot grow in the truth of God's Word. The good soil is someone who has heard and received the Word of God and allows it to take root and grow within his life. This person represents true salvation that bears good fruit.
Jesus spoke the Parable of the Sower to teach how important the state of our heart is to receiving the Gospel and how our salvation is proved by our choices and actions after hearing the Gospel.