We are often tempted, sometimes instructed, to think of parables as homey stories whose point was immediately obvious, as evidence that Jesus was such a great teacher because he used these illustrations that everyone could understand. But this is simply not the case. The truth is that while Jesus’ parables are easy to comprehend on a surface level, their point is not always obvious. Indeed, read commentators and you will see how little consensus there is on the meaning of some of the parables even now. Jesus tells us today – that obscurity is not by accident. The purpose of parables was both to reveal – to unfold the nature of the kingdom – and to conceal – to foil those with other agendas for Jesus. This was especially true of the parable of the sower. For the parable of the sower is the key to the other parables establishing the necessity of listening to the Word of the Kingdom and not passing it over or letting it be crowded out by other concerns.