The Parable of the Sower
And the Lord told this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. ( Luke 8:5-15)
Biblical scholar F.F. Bruce in his book THE MESSAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT offers the following thought:
Jesus has been repudiated by the religious leaders; his works of mercy and power have been put down to demonic possession. In reply, he affirms that for those who deliberately ascribe to Beelzebul the work of the Spirit of God there is no further hope; to them the plainest teaching about the kingdom is henceforth meaningless because, like those to whom Isaiah preached in his day, they have rendered themselves incapable of seeing, hearing or understanding (13:13-15). But to unprejudiced hearers his message comes home, like good seed falling into good soil, and they see and hear things which prophets and righteous men longed in vain to see and hear.
Bruce connects Jesus comments about being able to hear and being able to understand directly with the teaching of the parable. The Parable puts the teaching into graphic terms comparing hearing to soil receiving seed. The message however is powerful for it connects in graphic parable Christ’s warning about those who make themselves incapable of hearing and comprending the Word of God. Jesus speaks in parables to illustrate the fact that the people have become like the various unproductive soils in His story.