Hear another lesson from Jesus to the gathered crowd.

A software expert shared their knowledge and advice at a software conference. Some people in the audience forgot it as soon as the next speaker began. Some in the audience thought it was enough to listen and not apply what they had heard. They spoke well of what they heard, but it made no real difference to them. A third group tried to use what they heard but gave up as soon as it got tricky and reverted to their old ways. A final group in the audience took the advice they were given and used it to transform their working practices, their products, their companies, and the lives of the people who use their software.

When Jesus’ disciples asked why he used so many parables in his teaching, he responded that while some people can understand the complex ideas he’s trying to explain, others understand better through the use of stories or analogies.

For those who couldn’t understand his analogy, he explained it this way.

Those who forgot what was said when the next speaker started are like those who hear the good news, but Satan interferes and prevents them from benefiting from what they hear. The group who commended the speaker’s advice but didn’t do anything with it are like those who hear the gospel, but don’t let it change them. Those who tried to follow the advice but gave up at the first hurdle are like those who hear the word but let the worries and desires of this life prevent the word from taking effect. The final group is like those who hear the word, accept it, and help the Kingdom to grow.