One thing that Jesus did to help His disciples & other seekers to understand God, His nature, His kingdom, & the appropriate response to it was to use allegorical stories known as parables. Each one began something like this: “The Kingdom of God is like…”
In the parable of the Hearer, Jesus told of a farmer who sowed seed – some fell on a hard footpath. This seed never took root, & was eaten up by birds. Other seed fell on rocky soil, where it quickly sprung up, but because of the rocks, never developed roots & quickly died. Still other seed fell among thorns – this seed also grew, but the thorns quickly choked the little plant to death. Finally, some seed fell on good, lush soil where it grew tall & strong & bore lots of fruit.
He wrapped up the parable with the phrase, “He who has an ear, let him hear.” And then He withdrew from the area. And no one understood what the parable meant.
The disciples came to Him & asked for more – because they had already committed to follow Him, He revealed the meaning. The soils represented 4 types of disciples & their ability to HEAR & RESPOND to the seed, the message of the Gospel Good News. Was their heart HARD, like the footpath, with no fruit at all? Or was it ROCKY, where they responded positively to the Good News, but as soon as difficulties came, they faded away? Or was it THORNY, indicating that the desires for money & other things of our world overwhelmed & choked out any hope of fruit? Or was the soil GOOD, allowing deep roots & great fruitfulness?
Each disciple was called to HEAR what Jesus REALLY said, & then take appropriate action so that they would continue growing into fully mature followers of Christ.