Cometh the evil one and snatcheth away (ercetai o ponhro kai arpazei). The birds pick up the seeds while the sower sows. The devil is busy with his job of snatching or seizing like a bandit or rogue the word of the kingdom before it has time even to sprout. How quickly after the sermon the impression is gone. "This is he" (outo estin). Matthew, like Mark, speaks of the people who hear the words as the seed itself. That creates some confusion in this condensed form of what Jesus actually said, but the real point is clear. The seed sown in his heart (to esparmenon en th kardiai autou, perfect passive participle of speirw, to sow) and "the man sown by the wayside" (o para thn odon sparei, aorist passive participle, along the wayside) are identified. The seed in the heart is not of itself responsible, but the man who lets the devil snatch it away.