“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Mt.13:23)
Imagine two separate drops of water sitting on the surface of a table. Slowly, due to the curvature of the surface, the drops move toward one another, eventually arriving at a common point. Once the two drops touch and the outer surface of each drop is penetrated, they instantaneously go through a process that results in the two drops becoming one larger drop. This illustrates the concept behind the word suniēmi (συνίημι), translated “understands.” Of course, when speaking about the actions of the intellect, we are not speaking of drops of water but rather ideas, thoughts and concepts.
Understanding is a response that is preceded by appropriate (necessary) action and will naturally be followed by appropriate action (response). As a concept already present and received in one’s scope of knowledge comes together with a concept to which one is being exposed, a broader comprehension is formed which we refer to as understanding. It is in this context that Jesus states, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given…” (Mt.13:12). If the previous concept is rejected, we encourage a different intellectual process to develop. Paul uses phrases like “futile in their speculation,” (Ro.1:21) “the futility of their mind,” (Ep.4:17) and “darkened in their understanding” (Ep.4:18).
“Good soil” has reference to a heart and mind that is properly prepared to deal with the added information to which one is exposed. Though it is not an element of this parable, one must also be properly prepared to handle that which is not true, the lies and deception that bombard us every day (especially in this age of media). Again, Paul, having impressive understanding of such issues, states, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2Co.10:5).
Preceded by “good soil,” a properly prepared heart and mind, exposed to “the word of the kingdom,” one can produce good “fruit.” The understanding itself is not the extent of the fruit in question but is a necessary step in the process. One’s choices, actions and conduct must follow in a manner consistent with the knowledge gained, as Jesus taught, “…everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Mt.7:24). “… some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” introduces the idea that there are variables at play that prevent this from being a “cookie cutter” process. “Fruit” is a broad term meaning that we are productive in some measure. In this way, we are increasingly prepared to join God in His redemptive mission and work together with Him to advance His kingdom on earth.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Ro. 12:2).
 It might be asked, “Where did the previous (initial) knowledge, information, understanding or truth come from?” Such a question leads us to the consider the importance of realizing that God designed human beings with a certain level in “in-built” awareness. What one does with this initial, God-given truth is crucial for proper development of further understanding and proper human character (reflecting the image of God). Consider Paul’s argument in Romans 1:18-32.
 In this way, Hegel’s reference to thesis, antithesis, synthesis can be seen as legitimate, however, it is not the case that truth itself comes into existence through this process – only our awareness of such truth. Understanding of truth is “created” in this fashion, not truth itself.