This is the first of eight parables that powerfully portray the secrets of the kingdom of God. It is the chief of the kingdom parables, the key to understanding the others. Here Christ tells a story that vividly depicts the mixed response that He is receiving. It explains the painfully evident unbelief of Israel in her Messiah and His kingdom call. Jesus reveals that the heart of the hearer, not Jesus nor His message, determines their response to Him. He underscores the fact that relatively few will understand Him and His message.