Matthew 13:1-23 – The Parable of the Sower and Its Interpretation and the Purpose of the Parables


Matthew 13:1-23


The parable of the sower, like the other parables, represents secrets of the kingdom given to those whose eyes are blessed to see. The kingdom of heaven is like a sower who sows seed on various kinds of soil. That which falls on good soil represents those who hear the word of the kingdom, understand it, and produce fruit for the harvest.


Though Jesus’ teaching in parables is addressed to the crowds, it is clearly meant especially for those righteous members of the community who respond to Jesus’ teaching in faithful obedience. Jesus’ parable of the sower and its interpretation are clearly joined together and centered around Jesus’ teaching to the disciples about the reason for the parable teaching in general. The parables comprise “secrets” about the kingdom of God, the understanding of which is a sign of blessing for those who have ears to hear. That Jesus’ teaching further marks a division between those who take offense and the disciples who hear and understand is carefully and explicitly described as the fulfillment of prophecy in themes typical of Matthew’s narrative (13:14-17).