The Parable of the Sower

In Matthew 13 we encounter a development in Christ’s ministry to His people, Israel. The disciples were aware of it, and asked Jesus, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” (vs.10) Jesus answered that it had not been given to the unbelieving multitudes to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. (vs.11) The mystery of the kingdom of heaven is that the kingdom had been inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming, but would be consummated at the end of the age when Jesus comes the second time.
There are seven parables recorded in Matthew 13, eight if we count the Parable of the Householder. (vv. 51-52) In essence, these eight parables describe the progress of the kingdom of heaven during the time between its inauguration and consummation. By “progress” we mean the gathering of believers into the kingdom from all over the world. Proclaimg the word or good news of the kingdom is the means by which people enter the kingdom of God. Those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus become sons and daughters of the kingdom and await its consummation where they will spend eternity. (cf. verses 38, 43)
The Parable of the Sower (vv. 1-9, 18-23) is descriptive of this period between the first and second coming of Christ when the gospel is preached and those who repent and believe enter the kingdom of heaven. (cf. Mat 21:31-32; Acts 19:1-10; Col 1:13) The emphasis is not on the sower, but the four types of ground onto which the seed is scattered: the wayside, the stony ground, the ground infested with thorns, and the good ground. Of the four, only the good ground represents those who truly repent and believe. They are the ones who truly understand the word, believe it, and bear fruit worthy of repentance.