Again Jesus is by the lake, away from the city or village, out of the church/synagogue. Again crowds come to hear him speak. He gives them a number of parables, stories that would make sense to them; stories out of their own life experience. But the parables contain more than just farming techniques, they teacher a deeper lesson.
The seed must be spread everywhere, just as light from the lamp must be cast everywhere. What the light reveals or how the seed grows is of God, a mystery to the farmer. But the seed must be cast and the soil will respond as it can. Good soil returns good crops, bad soil no crops. It is up to the farmer to sow the seed and up to God to bring the seed to fruit in its time. The Kingdom of God will be fulfilled. And the deeper one wishes to mine the parables for truth, the more they will find. Like a Zen koan. Meditation upon the parables of Jesus can be a life long endeavor and the truth will just keep coming like a mustard seed growing into a large tree.
One could reflect upon whose responsibility it is to prepare the soil? Isn’t rejoicing in the potential abundant harvest of the prepared soil enough, or do we need to chastise the path and rocks for not being soil? Or do they serve another purpose that is not part of the parable as it was told? And what about those birds? And who in their right mind would put a lamp under a bed? The answer is obvious, but that parable of a parable means all things are revealed in the light of Wisdom, even though Jesus reveals it in secret to the Disciples. A hint that there is no “secret” teachings of Jesus, only teachings that have not been meditated upon sufficiently for the truth to be revealed.