Two of the other gospel writers Matthew and Mark also record for us this first parable spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is now beginning to speak to the multitudes and the religious rulers in parables or more common language of today with stories. The religious rulers who followed Him around everywhere He went did so with the sole purpose of discrediting Him and His teaching. They wanted to cast our Lord as a fraud and an imposter before the multitude who came to listen to His teaching. These religious rulers did not want the people to believe that He was who He claimed to be. They did not want the people to listen to Him exclusively and turn away from their teaching. The religious rulers or rabbis did not recognize their own dead spiritual condition so in their religious zeal that was void of God’s life they would do anything to keep their authority and control over the people. Matthew even records them accusing our Lord of having a demon and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back with our Lord, so He began to teach publicly only in parables from that point on in His earthly ministry.
Luke 8:4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable. NKJV
His parables or stories or illustrations were of things the people would have seen done or participated in themselves, but they were earthly stories that had an underlying eternal spiritual meaning or message lodged in it. The Lord’s teaching by parables were done for a two-fold purpose and that was to conceal spiritual truth from those who do not surrender their heart and life to Him, but to those who come to Him in repentance and faith they will receive from the Lord the eternal spiritual truth from every one of His parables. So our Lord having just finished dining at a Pharisees home then went into many other cities preaching and teaching. He was worshiped at that home by a very sinful woman. Perhaps this woman was Mary Magdalene but the Scripture does not clearly state so, but as Dr. Luke continues his discourse into Chapter 8 he list the women that followed our Lord everywhere He went and provided financially for Him and she is in this list. Our Lord had forgiven this woman of much sin and the Pharisee could not understand why this Rabbi/Teacher Jesus would even allow such a woman to be in His presence let alone touch Him. Our Lord told the Pharisee that this woman’s sins were many, but she is now forgiven and so this is why she loves much.
Luke 8:9-10 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’” NKJV
This is a great entry into His first parable of the sower. Preparing a field for the reception of various seeds to be planted in said field was something all the multitude had either seen done or participated in it themselves. However, what it had to do with the Kingdom of God was not evident to any of them. Our Lord lists the four different outcomes when the sowers seed is scattered in the field. Some seed would fall on the hard path that had been walked on by so many for many years and that seed would lay there on top of the path completely exposed and the birds would quickly swoop in and devour the seed. Our Lord said some seed would fall on stony or rocky soil and that seed could not get past the hard rock underneath. He said some of the scattered seed would fall where there were thorns or weeds and when the seed would come up the weeds would crowd out the seed from water and sunlight. However, our Lord said that some of the seed scattered would fall where the soil was prepared just right and it would spring forth and produce a crop of 30 times more, 60 times more, or even 100 times more than what was sown.
Luke 8:5-7 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” NKJV
And when our Lord finished the story, He said to the multitudes that surely contained many religious rulers also that he who has ears to hear let him hear or understand. Well, all of the hearing people understood that story in their natural mind as I said many of them did this themselves to earn a living for their families, but they had no idea what it had to do with the Kingdom of God. Much like the Pharisee that had dined with the Lord Jesus could not understand why that woman was kissing our Lord’s feet and wiping it with her hair. Our Lord only explains these parables to His true disciples like this woman she was given ears to hear and understand these words because our Lord had opened her heart to understand spiritual truth. The gospel writer John Mark in documenting this parable spoken by our Lord revealed that our Lord said to His disciples that if they did not understand this first parable that they would not understand all the others. It was when our Lord was alone with His disciples that He explained this parable to them. This is still the way our Lord does with those of every generation that become members in His mystical body.
Luke 8:8 When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” NKJV
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the sower in this story and the seed is His word. When He or any of us that at His command sow the Word of God to individual people, because of the condition of their heart (the inner person/the soul/mind, the real person) there will be 4 different reactions to the Word of God, the gospel of grace, the life giving word and 3 responses will not result in true forgiveness of sin and only 1 will. The enemy of the souls of men and women is always present when the sower sows the Word of God because he desires to prevent as many hearts from receiving with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save their souls. The first response to the Word is that some hearts are so hardened by and in their sin that the Word of God, the gospel of grace, the life giving word like the seed on the hard path just hits and bounces off immediately and the devil snatches away the Word from their hearts. The second response to the Word like the seed on the stony ground it gets in only so far, but is not able to borough down deep into the heart so when trouble and persecution, even threats of violence arises from other lost souls because of the Word of God this soul exits stage left and puts away his profession of faith finding the price far too high to pay. Like the dog who returns to his vomit to lap it up so do these return to their life of sin and remain in it.
Luke 8:11-13 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” NKJV
The third response is much more subtle and deceiving than the other two for many people superficially respond with this type of heart and believe they are saved when they are not and it is like the weeds that crowd out the good seed and take away the water and sunlight causing it to die so it is with these that are more focused on their careers and climbing the corporate ladder, making lots of money, being admired and respected by the world, satisfying every urge of sensual lust in their flesh, and living the so called “good life” down here and there is no time alone in God’s Word and no prayer to God only a once a week 1 hour or 2 hour attendance of a Church service and thus the deceitfulness of earthly pleasure and treasure takes away the ability for any true fruit to the One True God Jesus Christ who is preeminent and He demands preeminence from those who would claim His Name. Finally, there are hearts that have been plowed by God the Holy Spirit in conviction of their own personal sinfulness producing a heart broken, contrite, poor in spirit, and humble wanting their sin to be taken away and when they hear the Word of God, the gospel of grace, the life giving word they receive it with a willing heart and pass from spiritual death into spiritual life through Jesus Christ blood sacrifice as a payment for their sin and are born again and made into new creatures by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and suffer much for the sake of the Word of God holding fast to their profession in Christ and are kept to the end by the power of our Lord Jesus.
Luke 8:14-15 “Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” NKJV
“Since Scripture imparts salvation, effective evangelism depends on the faithful proclamation of the Word. God will prepare the soil and bring forth the fruit. We must be faithful to plant the seed.” John MacArthur
“Christ’s voice sounds now for each of us in loving invitation; and dead in sin and hardness of heart though we be, we can listen and live. Christ Himself, my brother, sows the seed now. Do you take care that it falls not on, but in, your souls.” Alexander MacLaren 1826-1910
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…