This is called the parable of the sower. It is also found in Mk 4:1-13 and Lu 8:415. Jesus explains what it means in V18-23 (CP V18-23). The whole course of this age of grace portraying how God's word is received and acted upon is pictured in this parable - the emphasis is on the hearts of men and how they respond to the gospel. It is how they respond to the gospel that determines their eternal destiny. The core teaching of this parable is that most people who hear the gospel will reject it.
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