“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;”
King James Version (KJV)
13:3 In parables - The word is here taken in its proper sense, for apt similes or comparisons. This way of speaking, extremely common in the eastern countries, drew and fixed the attention of many, and occasioned the truths delivered to sink the deeper into humble and serious hearers. At the same time, by an awful mixture of justice and mercy, it hid them from the proud and careless. In this chapter our Lord delivers seven parables; directing the four former (as being of general concern) to all the people; the three latter to his disciples. Behold the sower - How exquisitely proper is this parable to be an introduction to all the rest! In this our Lord answers a very obvious and a very important question. The same sower, Christ, and the same preachers sent by him, always sow the same seed: why has it not always the same effect? He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!
Mt 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables. Of which only samples are preserved, even by Matthew, and still fewer in the other Gospels. Parables. Narratives designed to convey spiritual instruction. The parable differs from the proverb in being a "narrative", from the fable is being "true to nature", from the myth in being "undeceptive", from the allegory in that it "veils the spiritual truth". Behold, a sower went forth to sow. It is "the sower" in the original. There was grain land on every side, and the figure was familiar to every hearer. There are no farm houses in Palestine. All live in towns or villages. Hence, the farmers "go forth" to sow.