In Luke Chapter 8, JESUS tells this parable:
5 'A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. 7 Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.' Saying this he cried, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!' Luke 8:5-8 (NJB)
When His disciples ask him about the meaning of this, He prefaces His explanation with the following revelation; “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you...” Luke 8:10 (NIV). This 'secret of the kingdom of God' has been passed down to us! So what is it?
“This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God,” Luke 8:11 (NJB). The Gospel-the seed- is the message of SALVATION, THE GOOD NEWS that through the blood of JESUS CHRIST shed on the cross, the price of our sin is paid, the penalty of sin which is death is fulfilled, our lives are ransomed (bought back from death and hell), we are redeemed, our sins are atoned for, we are made right with GOD (justified), and we are cleansed from the stain of sin (purified by His blood). That means that instead of the hopelessness fate of sinners, we have a future hope of eternal life in the presence of GOD forever! Death is not the END! It is the BEGINNING of an eternity of joy and peace!What a relief!
“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,” Luke 8:12 (NIV). This can happen in so many different ways, at so many different stages in life-from elementary school, to university, to the work place, peer pressure, and social interaction at all levels. The end result is DOUBT and UNBELIEF.
“13 Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up,” Luke 8:13 (NJB). This one is tricky because trials come for us all-there is no life without troubles. Who likes pain anyway? No one. This is where the challenge of walking by faith and not by sight becomes an unavoidable reality. When we go through difficult times, the first question we ask is, “Why me?” If we are not careful, discouragement, bitterness and disillusionment set in, then we simply GIVE UP.
“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,” Luke 8:14 (NIV). It is so easy to be completely focused on these things to the exclusion of all else. Our faith can become shrivelled up when we do not make time to attend to it. It becomes STUNTED.
“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,” Luke 8:15 (NIV). Patience, faith, obedience and trust are key elements to producing a good crop! When we trust GOD, meditate on the promises in the Bible, let His HOLY SPIRIT guide us, and keep our eyes on JESUS CHRIST, we will be able to stand firm in our faith, watch it GROW and spread out to affect the lives of those around us.
So I ask you, where did the seed fall for you? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31 (NKJV).
*Online Bible tools: biblegateway.com, catholic.org/bible/ & bible.com* Versions of the Bible: NJB (New Jerusalem Bible), NIV (New International Version), NKJV (New King James Version).