His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you,1 but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'2
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.3
Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.4
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches5 and pleasures, and they do not mature.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.6
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.7
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."8
Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.