Matthew 13 - IVP New Testament Commentaries
The Sower and the Soils
Jesus tells the "parable of the sower" (v. 18) in verses 3-9; in verses 18-23 he provides the interpretation, in which only one who "hears the word and understands it"! perseveres to eternal life (v. 23). In the intervening section (vv. 10-17) Jesus emphasizes that only his inner circle will understand, because the parables make sense only in the context of Jesus' ministry. Thus prospective disciples have a measure of choice: only those who press into his inner circle, those who persevere to mature discipleship, will prove to be good soil.