Parable for a Large Crowd

06. March 2008 Luke 0

Text: Luke 8:4-15 Theme: Among those in the crowd were people of all four categories of Jesus’ parable. Key verses: “While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: ‘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…'” (v. 4-5) “‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'” (v. 8b) “‘This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 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…'” (v. 11-12) “‘But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by preserving produce a crop.'” (v. 15) What God said to me: Dwayne, wake up. Listen and hunger after my words today. All around you — in your neighborhood, in your city, at the grocery store, in your church services — are people who fit into one of four categories. Jesus wanted to be sure his disciples didn’t miss the meaning of this parable. And the Holy Spirit wants to be certain you don’t miss it either. First of all, notice that people must first choose to hear. They may not understand, but they must at least hear. Now, of those who hear, four groups exist. Each group is progressively smaller in size. 1. There are those who merely hear but do not believe to salvation. The devil steals the seed before it ever takes root. 2. There are those who do hear and believe. However, they never mature past that moment of salvation. Thus, they are taken down by the cares of this world. 3. This group are those who believe and are saved, but they don’t keep careful watch over the thought-garden of their minds. Weeds of luring temptations eventually choke out their passion and growth and they wither. 4. The final group is unfortunately also the smallest. Of particular note here is my apparent contradiction to other references in my Word. The heart is “deceitfully wicked. Who can know it?” Yet, here Jesus is saying individuals in Group 4 have “noble and good hearts.” How can this be? Simply this: a heart changed and made new by my power and love is a pure heart. If protected and nurtured, it can remain a noble and good heart which prospers and grows in love and devotion to me. How do you know if you have a “noble and good heart”? 4 criteria: You hear and believe my word. You hold fast to my word. You preserve my word or hide it in your heart. Your life produces a visible crop of spiritual fruit. What I said to God: Lord and Savior, praise You for today. Thank You for meeting with me as you always do so faithfully. I think I understand better now what this passage means. All but the first group are saved. It is not necessarily that the other 3 groups lose their salvation along the way. To do so would contradict many other passages in Your Word. What You are refering to here is effectiveness and santification while on this earth. Your plan and goal for Your children is that they grow and prosper in their faith and knowledge of You, that they show forth their praise to others around them. I pray for my family and those in our church and the many who worship leaders and believers who will read our materials. May they (we) never stop growing and keeping our eyes on the prize that awaits us. We must go deep in You and in Your Word. Anything short of that won’t keep us in Group number 4.