You all have heard about this parable Jesus taught.
But how does it apply to you and me?
In this bible study we will try to discover today’s application of this parable.
I will use Scripture from the Amplified Bible (copyright - The Lockman Foundation) for our study.
Please turn in your bibles to Luke 8. We will begin with verse 5:
(5) A sower went out to sow seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the traveled path and was trodden underfoot, and the birds of the air ate it up.
(6) And some [seed] fell on the rock, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away because it had no moisture.
(7) And other [seed] fell in the midst of the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it [off].
(8) And some seed fell into good soil, and grew up and yielded a crop a hundred times [as great]. As He said these things, He called out, He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and understand by hearing!
Jesus was speaking to a great crowd of people who had come to see Him. He told them a parable about someone who went out to sow seed.
The parable is short and rather strange.
Question - Do you think the people wondered what Jesus was talking about?
In those days it was fairly common to broadcast sow seed. That means to take a bag of seed, take a handful of seed and kind of swing your arm outward, letting the seed slip through your fingers. This would cause the seed to fly through the air and bounce on the ground until it came to rest. It was haphazard compared to the farm equipment used today, but it was all they had.
This sower did his work as it had always been done. Although the results of his work were poor, he didn’t expect any better. Why should he? This was how it was done.
Jesus finished His parable saying he who has ears to hear, let him hear.
What does that mean? Didn’t everyone there, hear it?
Question - Do you think the people listening understood this story?
They probably understood the story…. but they missed the meaning of it.
(9) And when His disciples asked Him the meaning of this parable,
(10) He said to them, To you it has been given to [come progressively to] know (to recognize and understand more strongly and clearly) the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that, [though] looking, they may not see; and hearing, they may not comprehend.
Jesus’ disciples wondered what He was talking about. They couldn’t figure out why Jesus was talking about sowing grain.
They did the right thing, didn’t they? They asked Jesus. When we don’t understand, it’s a good practice to ask Jesus.
Jesus answered them in a strange way. He said the mysteries of the kingdom of God would be explained to them, but the rest of the people would not know the true meaning.
A mystery? I love a good mystery!! Let’s find out!
Luke 8:11 Now the meaning of the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.
All of a sudden, we realize that the seed Jesus talked about is much more valuable than we first thought. He wasn’t talking about farming after all.
Question - Are you beginning to think that the one sowing this seed needs to be careful how he sows?
I’d like you to think for a moment…
If seed is sown as it always has been, should that way be the way to continue sowing? Or is there a better way? A more effective way?
Just some food for thought.
Luke 8:12 Those along the traveled road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and carries away the message out of their hearts, that they may not believe (acknowledge Me as their Savior and devote themselves to Me) and be saved [here and hereafter].
We understand that there is spiritual warfare going on around us, but Jesus is saying that the devil comes and takes the Word out of their hearts. The devil doesn’t want them to believe and be saved.
Have you considered this? These people hear the Word. They do not put faith into action and believe right away. Soon, they are no longer interested in what they heard. The opportunity is gone from them.
How would you sow the seed? Is there a way to sow the seed so that these people would be more interested? Enough interest to grasp the Word and keep it?
Question - Is this worth thinking about?
Moving on now:
Luke 8:13 And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).
These people hear and receive the Word with joy. They believe by faith... for awhile. Jesus tells us they have no depth of root. In time of temptation they fall away. There is no fruit born by these.
Think for a moment… must these be left behind?
How would you sow this seed? Could the rocky soil be improved? Could the soil be built up? Cultivated? Rocks gathered up?
Could these brothers and sisters in Christ, be encouraged to stand in the midst of temptation? Could some time be given to help them grow stronger and deepen their faith?
Question – Are we so busy that walking away from these is easier for us than nurturing them?
Luke 8:14 And as for what fell among the thorns, these are [the people] who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked and suffocated with the anxieties and cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).
These people also hear and believe the Word. They start to grow, but weeds - meaning the anxieties, the cares, the riches and pleasures of the world choke them out. They do not bear any fruit either.
These people take their eyes off of Jesus and look to the world again.
The joy of the Lord begins to be less important to them. They become distracted and pulled away.
How would you sow the seed for these? Could some of those weeds be pulled up for them? Could some time be spent with them, listening to the difficulties they encounter? Could a burden be shared to lighten their load? Is there a way to help them grow closer to Jesus?
Question – Will we be content to allow these brothers and sisters lose their way?
Luke 8:15 But as for that [seed] in the good soil, these are [the people] who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in a just (noble, virtuous) and worthy heart, and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.
Now we hear, of the brothers and sisters who hear and believe. They grow in the Word. They keep their eyes upon Jesus. They cherish their fellowship with the Lord and with other Believers enough to forsake the world and it’s ways.
These are the ones we want to be. Vitally alive in Christ Jesus… bearing good fruit with patience.
Beloved, I want to ask you each one some questions:
Would you be where you are in your walk with Jesus today, if someone else hadn’t reached out their hand to you?
Has someone helped you to see how wonderful Jesus is? Have they helped to keep you on the right path until you were strong enough to stand against the devil?
Has someone encouraged you to get into God’s Word? Have they helped you to put down deep roots in Christ Jesus?
Has someone admonished you to not be distracted by the world? Have they prayed for you to remain faithful? Has someone listened to you when your heart was heavy and you needed a friend?
I remember a man who once asked a question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
We must each ask ourselves the same question throughout our lives in Christ.
Have we missed the message of this parable much like the crowd listening to Jesus?
Question - Could Jesus really be telling us about the work that needs to be done?
Have you considered what you can do to prepare the seedbed for the sowing of the Word of God where you live?
May God help all of us to think on these things and prayerfully consider our part in sowing the seed.
Thank you for letting me share these thoughts with you.
God bless each of you.
Bible study by InAwe