Sunday, February 21
Luke 8:1-21 — A Sower, a Lamp & True family
1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
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 rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 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.”
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.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 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. 13 Those on the rock 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. 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. 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.
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. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Those who have will be given more; as for those who do not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
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.”
Points of Interest:
- (v.2) “and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases”—the followers of Jesus are not all men. We now hear of these women who play a crucial role in Jesus’ work. They, like the woman from the previous passage, willingly give out of gratitude for Jesus’ rescue; and by their sacrifice, they make it possible for Jesus to go on to rescue others.
- (v.11) “The seed is the word of God”—when he speaks, Jesus is sowing word-seeds. Just like the seeds of plants, these words he is sowing have the potential to grow and multiply in the lives of their hearers; but it’s also possible that something could get in the way of their growth. Then it would be just as if the words were never sown at all: though they had ears, they would never really have heard.
- (v.15) “by persevering”—it takes some work for these seeds to grow. You have to try to hear these words, if you really want to have the words fulfill their true potential. Jesus’ disciples are a perfect example in this passage of persevering to produce a crop. Everyone in the whole crowd hears Jesus’ parable, but to them it probably just ends up being a semi-interesting agricultural story. The disciples actually put in the extra time and effort to ask Jesus what the parable means. Because they ask, the secret is unlocked, and the meaning of the words is able to grow in their lives.
- (v.18) “Those who have will be given more”—in the end, a farmer is looking for crops. He will plant more seeds where He has seen seeds grow, and He knows it’s a waste to plant seeds where they don’t grow. Jesus is the same way. He wants to see His words grow, and multiply, and have an effect; so, He’ll always give more words to those who listen well. And He’ll stop giving more words where they don’t have any effect: it does neither Him nor the hearer any good.
Taking it home:
- For you: In this passage, the disciples ask Jesus to help them understand some of things He had been saying. Is there anything from this week’s reading that has been confusing to you? Let Jesus know. Ask Him to help you have “ears to hear” as you read.
- For your Six: Ask God to help your Six to be good soil for Jesus’ words. Pray that any words of Jesus that land in their lives would grow and produce some positive effect in their lives.
- For our church/ILTJ: The good soil Jesus talked about in this parable provided an environment which resulted in incredible growth. In the same way, pray that our ILTJ projects (solar panels, worship center renovation, children’s facilities, campus updates) will result in an environment of good soil and incredible growth.
- To Talk About: Jesus is using stories to help the people understand what He is talking about. There’s a pretty good chance many of us today do not spend a huge amount of time farming or gardening. Regardless, this parable Jesus told and explained is such a great one to talk about and think about. Good soil – that’s the goal right? People with noble and good hearts, who hear the Word, retain it and by persevering, produce a crop. What are some ways you can help cultivate good soil in your life?
- To Do: Get some paper and draw a picture of each of the following: (You can each draw all of them or assign one to specific members of the family)
- A photo of the farmer planting his seed (the word of God)
- Seed on a path being trampled and eaten by birds (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)
- Seeds landing on rock and the plants withering because of no moisture (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.)
- Seeds among thorns or weeds being choked by them (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.)
- Seeds planted in good soil growing up and producing a huge crop (for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop)
Talk about the different pictures and what Jesus said each meant. Is there one that concerns you or bothers you more than another? How can you help each other as a family to grow seeds (God’s Word) in good soil (in your life).