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 Cuza, 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 of the air 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, "He who has ears to hear, let him 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.
Seeds and Soil (8:1~8)
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, His following has grown immensely. But Jesus is not looking for fans—He wants committed followers who will hear His words, meditate on them, and allow them to transform their lives. Thus, to the crowd of perhaps thousands of people itching to hear what wisdom this great teacher has to impart, Jesus makes the interesting choice to speak mainly in parables. Here He tells a story of a farmer who scatters seed on different types of soil—a scene taken from everyday life. It is a parable that requires thought and reflection, and its meaning is hidden from those whose hearts are not open to the Holy Spirit.
- The next time you hear a difficult teaching, do not dismiss it as “too hard,” but take the time to meditate on it, and ask God for discernment and understanding.
Hear and Understand (8:9~15)
To the crowd Jesus speaks in parables, but to His inner circle of closest friends He explains the meaning of His words plainly. The disciples have the privilege of receiving “the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God” (v. 10), for they will be commissioned to teach them to others when Jesus leaves them. Though one of these men will be tested and fall away, the remainder represent the good soil of the parable: they hear the word, retain it, and by persevering will produce a great harvest. The crop of that harvest is evident even today in the church and in each individual believer. We, too, have been entrusted with the secrets of the kingdom of God and are called to proclaim them to the lost.
- What crop has God’s Word produced in your life?
A letter to God
Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us in a way that invites all kinds of people from all walks of life to understand the secrets of Your kingdom. Cultivate the soil of my heart that I might retain your Word and produce an abundant crop. In Your name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.