A different understanding of Mark 4:3-9, the parable of the sower and the seed.
For about forty-five years, I have looked at this parable as referring to the unbeliever. But. Let’s look at it from the perspective of the church.
The frequently walked route (path) is religious tradition. The soil (heart) becomes hardened. Seeds (of God’s Word) do not penetrate. The birds of doctrine easily consume the seeds so they cannot germinate.
Gravel is false soil. It is unproductive soil. Shallow (emotional) believers get all excited about the seeds taught. But, because of choices and hardships, will wither when life heats up.
Weedy ground are those whose life in the church are caught up in worldly cares (such as fundraisers). If ministry does not focus on Jesus, they lose the seeds sown in the weeds.
Of course, the good soil are those who wish to actually grow in Christ. They, in turn, produce the seeds of discipleship to sow into others’ lives.
The seed is consistent and viable – it is the hearts that receive it that determine germination and growth.