This passage is a great example of Jesus’ way of discipleship: life experience and relatable stories to establish spiritual principals to be put into practice. This is what ‘The Church’ is founded on! It is also about God controlling the grace that brings salvation & our stewardship of what He gives.
Luke 8: 8:4-21
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.
- This is a message for the masses
- The Farmer had a purpose: sowing seed
- ‘Broadcast Spreading’ The Gospel is proclaimed to everyone
- Seed on the path has no shot; no soil and it is exposed to being taken away
- The seed on the rocky ground is without the means to grow (moisture)
- The seed on the rocky ground couldn’t grow, seed need soil
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
- The seed among the thorns couldn’t compete with what was already there (world)
- What is there before the seed keeps growing (thorns grew up with the seed)
- The seed cannot grow amongst the thorns, it needs to separate (called out)
- The good soil had everything necessary for the seed to grow and produce fruit
- Crops that are in the right environment reproduce more and more of themselves
- If God has given you the ability to hear (‘Spiritual Ears’) then pay close attention
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 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.’ (Isaiah 6:9)
- How a ‘Disciple’ should act: Going to God & asking for answers (James 1:5)
- God allows some to hear & understand kingdom things others are destined to not
- The Isaiah verse shows God has always operated like this
- Here is where we find the tension between God’s control and our free will
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.”
- The ‘Word’ of God is the fullness of who God is and how He is to us
- God’s Word is the Gospel or The Kingdom.
- Basically a synopsis of the Scriptures
- God enabling us to embrace & surrender to His Word brings us into ‘Right Relationship’
12 “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
- The different soils are representative of different people and their receptiveness to God’s Word
- ‘Along the path’ has the opportunity to hear but the Devil deceives them
- This group is what we call ‘Non-Regenerate’ they literally cannot believe
- Consistent in the Scriptures is the message that God controls who believes
13 “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
- The ‘Rocky Ground’ has an emotional response to God’s Word (not enough)
- They receive it but it is not rooted, God’s Word is not foundational in their life
- They are good with God while everything is smooth, but when life’s storms come..
- Following Jesus without a foundation rooted in God’s Word is not following Jesus
14 “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”
- Those ‘Among The Thorns’ hear but go on ‘their’ way, not changing to God’s way
- They begin the process of surrendering their life but try to add it to current life
- They focus on the things of this world over God’s Word
- 2 Timothy 3:4b-5a…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.
- They do not mature… Literal translation: ‘They bear not to completion’
- Maturity is making it to the point where you reproduce (Mature things reproduce)
15 “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
- The ‘Good Soil’ is prepared by God, those who God has given grace to be saved
- The Word of God is what makes us noble and of good heart (Hear & Retain)
- Disciples of Christ find the Word of God to be of ultimate value.
- Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
- Those who God puts His Spirit in CAN & DO persevere in being lifelong disciples
- Treasuring God’s Word transforms us, that’s what produces a crop (multiplication)
- The Crop that is a hundred times what is sown = ‘Kingdom Reproduction’
The salvation implications of the parable: 3 of the 4 ‘Soils’ do not inherit the Kingdom. Then there are discipleship principals in this parable for those who are saved and the last four verses in this passage speak of stewardship regarding God’s Word amongst His Family.
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
- Jesus gives some overall principals for how we apply the previous parable
- The Word of God is the lamp, it has a obvious purpose to those who ‘Use’ it
- The truth will be found to be the truth, at some point all will be revealed
- This is true about your salvation and your discipleship
18 “Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
- This is a call to examine your follow-ship and discipleship in light of God’s Word
- What does the the ‘therefore’ refer to? Both the soils and the lamp!
- Are you being a good steward of what you have been given?
- How well do you listen to God / God’s Word?
19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
- Does growing up around church or your linage make you Jesus’ family?
- True Family is those who share your values, Jesus values God’s Word
- What makes you part of His family is based on valuing & applying God’s Word!
- Listening = Hearing + Understanding (practice)
- Putting God’s Word into practice takes: motivation, faith, grace & intentionality
- We call this process Discipleship!
- It is meant to be done TOGETHER AS FAMILY!
- Demonic forces are always working to diminish God’s Word.
- A true relationship with God is founded on & rooted in God’s Word.
- Jesus teaches we are to unrelentingly prioritize God’s Word over care for earthy things.
- The goal of our salvation is to join God in reproducing it, based on God’s Word.
- Jesus teaches we must share the light we have been given: God’s Word.
- The measure of our being Jesus family is how we listen to and practice God’s Word.
Application Questions: (Assumption is that you want to Biblically Grow as a Disciple)
What does it look like to consider how you listen to God’s Word, making the most of the grace you have been given to understand the Gospel? (Listen = Hear & Understand ) (Use the grace given to open up to more grace)
How do you reconcile this Scripture saying some won’t listen to God’s Word & perish? (They will be ‘Unable to believe unto salvation)
Which are your biggest challenges & why? Spiritual attacks, your rooting in God’s Word or being preoccupied with things of this world? (letting lies run your life / lack of Scripture based life / what ‘captivates’ you?)
What fuels your vision of growing to maturity and reproducing as a disciple of Christ? (Motivation based on others and God’s Glory)
In what ways can you intentionally hear God’s Word & apply it so HIS light shines? (specific practices, priorities & lifestyle choices that grow your ‘Spirit-Living’)