The key focus of the ‘Parable Of The Sower’ is the soil, and in this parable the soil represents the heart. For that same reason I also like to call it The Parable of the Hearts. By reading this parable, we can learn the importance of the heart and how the condition of our heart determines our response to the Word of God & our relationship with Him.
There is also something very important about this parable that will help us understand or discern other parables,, because Jesus said concerning this to His disciples:
‘Know (Strong’s # G1492 = To see, perceive, discern, understand) ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? (Mark 4:13)
Lets use the 3 gospels where the Parable of the Sower is found, Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke8:4-18. I divided the verses in 4 sections in order to study them better:
God places on us the responsibility to guard our hearts from hardening. Deut. 15:7, Prov.4:23, Prov. 28: 14 We are warned NOT to harden our hearts.
So what about the passages where God hardens peoples hearts? The main confusion people encounter in this regard has to do with Calvinist’s teachings that say passages which speak of God hardening human hearts prove God’s selective election & determinism from the foundation of the world. That God hardens the hearts of people not elected for heaven so they won’t receive salvation.
But God is not saying one thing and doing another. God is Just! Deut. 32:4, Jeremiah 17:10, Job 34:12 , etc.
Those hardened or cut off are NOT born in this condition, but have “grown hardened” over years of rebellion , their hearts or conscience becomes dull or hardened because of continual & unrepentant sin in their lives (Acts 28:24-27, Matt. 19:8, 1 Tim.4:2, Rom.2:5, Heb 3:13).