We are the sowers, but we do not reap, that is for the Holy Spirit.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people:
" 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."
11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?"
And he answered:
"Until the cities lie ruined
and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away
and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
leave stumps when they are cut down,
so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
Stump land sprouted the "holy seed," Jesus, and Jesus went on to fulfill Isaiah's prophecies and preach many of the same messages. When large crowds gathered around Jesus, he would begin to preach in parables. Personally, I love parables, they are mysterious, they make you think, and usually once you figure out what Jesus was saying, the Truth is profound and meaningful. In Luke 8, Jesus reveals why He uses parables.
His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'
Jesus quoted from Isaiah 6. Although our heart should be to see every person turned to Jesus, if someone rejects the Truth we should not let it bind us in emotion, we should not let it stop us in our tracks and keep us from pressing on for His glory. Sincere seekers will understand, sincere seekers will perceive. Even with large crowds gathered, Jesus uses a preaching technique, parables, to narrow those who understand. On the flip side of that, it isn't our fancy talk, or our wise words that draw people into a relationship with Jesus. In I Corinthians, Paul mentions that he did not preach the gospel "with wisdom of words," (1:17) and then again "with excellence of speech" (2:1). Paul knows that all he must do is preach the simple gospel of Jesus crucified, it is up to the Holy Spirit to allow those who are listening to truly "hear."