The immediate question regarding this parable is its title. Is it not a parable regarding the seeds? The soil? Why sower? Our Lord himself titled this as the “parable of sower” at verse 18-and that settles it. But why? At this point of the lord’s ministry-the Jewish leaders are already hardening and hostile against Him-and so the Lord himself is warning his apostles what will different type of people will respond to his word. It is not meant for the ‘soil’ itself to be introspective –though maybe in a limited way as will be described below. It is also not for the soil to make judgment upon himself if he is elect or not. Though the sower may concluded it that way. Only the good soil will guarantee produce.
It is for the sower to take into consideration on how their hearers will respond to their teaching/preaching. There are four basic responses:
The fourth response –seems to consider the other 3 preceding response. One must hear and understand the Word –and that he can endure tribulation and persecution. He will not be deceived by riches and choked by the cares of the world. Only then will it be able to bear fruit –only in different quantity. Not all maturity or fruitfulness are the same. This is also a wise counsel of our Lord to those who will preach the Word.
This also showed that the response to the Kingdom of Jesus will not be overwhelming acclamation –some will reject it and be unfruitful.
The teacher-based on these diagrams and the Lord’s advice must make sure that he will be understood when he talks-and that it will be not shallow. It must be repeated, illustrated and applied appropriately so that it will take root. It must also warn the hearers of the expected reaction of the world to his conversion adn thus be prepared hindrances to growth. He must be responsible in his use of opportunity given to him in sharing the Word.