In Matthew 13:3-9, along with Matthew 13:18-23, we read of the parable of the sower. A sower went forth to sow his seed. Some fell by the wayside, some on stony ground, some on thorny ground, and some on fertile ground. We can learn a number of lessons when we consider the sower and the seed.
But for now, let's center our thoughts on the various types of soils. In this parable, Jesus explained that the wayside upon which some of the seed fell represented those persons who heard the word of God but allowed the devil to take it away. People often allow Satan to take the word of God away from their hearts by giving their attention to false teachers, hearing the word of God with their minds already made up, or hearing the word of God but choosing to apply it to someone else.
The stony ground represented those persons who joyfully received the word of God and obeyed but were only faithful for a little while. These people failed to become adequately rooted and grounded in the faith. We become rooted and grounded in the faith when we regularly assemble to worship with other Christians, when we pray as we ought, and when we continue to study God's word as we ought.
The thorny ground represented those persons who heard the word of God and obeyed but did not bear fruit because of their undue concern over the cares and pleasures of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Notice Jesus did not say these were overcome by things that were sinful in and of themselves. But these people were overly occupied with the things of the world, having no room in their lives for God.
The good ground represents those persons who, because of their honest hearts, received the word of God, obeyed the word of God, and bore fruit. The good soil reminds us that in order to become a Christian a person must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17). He must have an honest heart, having a willingness to lay aside all preconceived ideas and prejudices concerning what the word of God teaches. This parable often teaches that Christian soften produce fruit in different amounts compared to one another. When Christ comes again, we will all be judged with what we have done according to our abilities, not according to how we compare with others.