Posted by: missionventureministries | November 7, 2019

THE SOWER AND THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOILS – Luke 8:4-15

Jesus spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “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. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 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.” (Luke 8:5-8)

The first thing to note is that Jesus was teaching about a subject that was very familiar to the Jewish people. In ancient times people passed through the countryside, walking everywhere they went or riding on an animal, and they had to go through fields that were being prepared to produce a crop. These areas became the paths that people used to get to their destination.

 

Historians tell us that the paths were normally only about four to three-feet wide so that not an excessive amount of land was wasted on pathways. As a result the pathways became hard, beaten down by the sun, the wind, hooves of animals and the feet of people who walked on them every day, making it very hard for the seed to have any opportunity to penetrate the soil and grow.

As we see from Jesus’ parable, the seeds that fell on these paths just lie there until the birds came and ate them. 

Then Jesus talks about the seed that fell on rocky places where they did not have much soil. What that means is not that there were stones in the soil. When a farmer plowed a field, he plowed the stones out as deep as the plow went, and he would get all the stones out; but in Israel there are large plates of limestone rock that lie beneath the surface and beneath where the plow could reach. So the farmer did his best to plow the field and was not aware of what lied further down of what he had prepared. This is what Jesus referred to as the rocky soil.

Therefore when seed fell upon this kind of soil, it would set forth roots and it would quickly sprout like any other seed would. The problem is that because of the rock bed below, the roots could not reach water which a plant needs. So as they grew and the hot sun came up, the plant withered and died because it needed moisture and could not get it.

The third kind of soil is the one where the seed fell among the weeds. We need to understand that the farmer prepared this soil very carefully; however, the weeds that had grown there before had left their seeds behind. Once the farmer sowed his field, the sun came out and the weeds started to grow at a much faster pace than the good seeds. They sucked out all the moisture and the nourishment that’s in the soil, leaving nothing for the fragile young plant that was trying to grow. The weeds grew so much faster and cast shadows over the good seeds so the sun could not get to them and they finally died.

Now the last seeds Jesus talks about fell on soil that was good, and had no interferences. This soil is deep, rich and clean soil and depending on the field’s amount of nutrients and size it produced a thirty-fold, sixty-fold to a hundredfold crop.

Then Jesus finishes the parable by saying “whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Afterwards when He was alone, His disciples asked Him what this parable meant and 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.’ (Luke 8:9-10)

God is the one who reveals spiritual truths to those who are willing to accept them; however those who do not want to learn will not understand. How blessed are those who do understand the parables of Jesus; because, not only do they gain the benefit of the spiritual truth illustrated; they also display a responsiveness to the Holy Spirit.

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Each true conversion is the result of planting the gospel into a pure heart. The word produces (James 1:18), saves (James 1:21), regenerates (1 Peter 1:23), sets free (John 8:32), produces faith (Romans 10:17), sanctifies (John 17:17) and draws us to God (John 6:44-45).  The soils are the different people; and the human heart is the one who makes the decision about the message.

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. Representing those who hear the truth, but like hardened paths they do not let it penetrate, and before long Satan comes and takes the truth away. If people do not receive and respond to the word with faith, their opportunity will be stolen by the evil one. Jesus called people to repent and really start living; they rebelled and refused to listen to His warnings; “they refused to hear – then they could not hear,” because their hearts and conscience was hardened and seared.

We need to understand that one of Satan’s chief works is to keep men in darkness regarding their understanding of the gospel as 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Apparently Satan is at work during the teaching and preaching of God’s word. Satan knows that when it is taught or preached, he needs to be busy against it doing everything to distract and to keep the person from the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus continues explaining the parable to them. “Those on the rocky ground 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.”

The stony ground pictures a person who professes delight with the Word; however, their heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, their “so-called faith” quickly disappears. The sun is symbolic of the tribulations and trials that we face in life, and those who lack the depth and the needed trust in the word of God, easily wither away.

They were outwardly enthusiastic about Jesus, but inwardly they do not take their commitment to heart. Sadly, there are a lot of these folks in churches.

“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.”

The thorny ground depicts one who seems to receive the Word, but whose heart is full of riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take their time and attention away from the Word, and they ends up having no time to read it and thereby getting choked by the world. The person remains in the thicket of the problems and cares of life. These people give more importance to the world than the words that could give them eternal life because they would have to give up too much of worldly things to make a commitment to Christ.

“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.”

The good ground portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word; and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in their life. Their hearts receive the message with faith, and the seed takes root. The person represented by the “good ground” is the only one of the four who is truly saved, because salvation’s proof is by its fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

For them, the true riches lie in the kingdom of God for they are eternal, while the riches of this world are perishable, and can be easily stolen.

Remember that a person’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of their heart which is represented by the soil. And as the seed that falls on good soil, our responsibility is to grow in scriptural knowledge, kindness, patience, and godly love, producing healthy and good fruit.

Therefore, like the Sower-Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to proclaim the message of the kingdom, the gospel, to the world, which represents the seed. We are to share His Word and His love, with an attitude of meek, humble, and godly service. And most importantly, we have the responsibility to grow into the perfect image of our Savior, Jesus Christ, remembering to pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

May our faith and our life exemplify the “good soil” taught in this parable.

*******


Responses

  1. Dear Friends,

    We so appreciate your articles and thank you for their consistent Biblical substantive teachings.

    Grateful in His love,
    Richard & Diane

  2. Reblogged this on xactlydeb and commented:
    Very insightful Ministry


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