As we begin our series on the Parables of Jesus, the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4) introduces us to the fact that parables are not cute stories, meant to simplify complex spiritual ideas, but they perplex. They subvert. They get behind our defences and gives us a new imagination for seeing the realities of God’s kingdom. In this parable, we see how Jesus is deeply concerned about our commitment to hearing what he has to say – which is, in the end, a function of our hearts’ openness to Jesus.