Luke 8:1-3-There were several women traveling with Jesus and the Apostles...they helped provide financial support.
Luke 8:4-21-Jesus teaches in parables...
Luke 8:5-8-The Parable of the Sower and the Seed (cf. January 17, Matthew 13:1-8). Not everyone who hears these parables will respond in a positive manner. Only those who “have ears to hear”…those who are willing to accept and obey what He is teaching.
Luke 8:9-10-Jesus says that He teaches in parables because the people would not repent even if they did fully understand everything that He taught (cf. Matthew 13:15-"they have closed their eyes...lest...they should see with their eyes"...they have intentionally closed their ears, and eyes, and hearts because they do not want to repent.
Luke 8:11-15-The explanation of the Parable of the Sower and the Seed…
The seed represents the “word of God”…the message of Jesus and salvation. The ground, or place where the seed lands, represents four different types of people (and how they each respond to the message).
- No Understanding: Hard Heart…the seeds that landed beside the road…(:5,12) Just like the ground here is hard, so are their hearts. The seed (message) does not penetrate into the soil (heart). If a person does not respond to the message of Christ, it isn’t long before “the evil one” (Satan) does something to keep the person from giving it any further consideration. Satan may do this by distracting the person with other things, causing them to doubt what they have heard, or offering something that promises pleasure. Why? To keep them from being saved.
- No Permanence: Hard Times…the seeds planted on the rocky places (:6,13) This is the person who likes the idea of salvation, eternal life, Heaven (“receive the word with joy”)…but only accepts it for its intellectual satisfaction, or emotional stimulation. He doesn’t actually accept Jesus as Savior…just the idea of the benefits of being saved. Then, “in time of temptation” (because of their nominal affiliation with Jesus)…they quickly change their mind…because the message had not truly taken root in their heart. There was no “moisture”…nothing to sustain it during these times…because the plant had only grown up, but not down.
- No Commitment: Hard Decisions…the seeds that were sown among the thorns (:7,14) This is the person who hears about Jesus, but is so distracted and consumed by all that is going on in his life (“worries and riches and pleasures”) that there is not room for Jesus. There is no room for Jesus in their life…because if He comes in, something else will have to go out. Jesus does not allow there to be anything in our lives that is in competition with our commitment to Him. So, “they go on their way”, as opposed to going with Jesus.
- No Reservations: Hard Proof…the seeds that land on the good soil (:8,15) This is the person who hears the message and responds in faith to it…the integrity of this faith is proven by the “fruit” (“perseverance” in lifestyle and works) that is seen in his life.
Luke 8:16-18-The Parable of the Lamp…Jesus gives a warning about how we are to listen...if we don't listen in order to learn from what we have heard and make the necessary changes, even what we do have (do believe) will be taken away. Our spiritual life is never at a standstill. Either you are moving forward, growing, maturing…or, you are losing whatever spiritual maturity you may have previously had.
Luke 8:19-21-Jesus' mother and brothers come to see him but are unable to get to Him because of the crowd. He says that His true mother and brothers are those who "hear the word of God and do it." Thereby giving those in a spiritual relationship with Him priority over those with a natural relationship.
Prayer: Lord, please teach me how to listen in order to grow in faith...not just to hear in order to learn more facts. I want to understand what You are saying so that my faith in You will grow. Please help me to know You through Your Word.