Luke 8:11-15     NIV

Luke 8:11-15     NIV

September 14, 2020 – Monday                      

Luke 8:11-15     NIV

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 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. 

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.  (emphasis added)

Comment

In the verses above Jesus is explaining the Parable of the Sower (verses 1-8), also known as the Parable of the Soils, to His disciples and to us. Twice we are directly told about those who end up not believing. The first in verse 12 where we read, 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.

David Guzik’s comments on this verse are interesting for he says those seeds along the path on the hard soil represented those who never heard the word with understanding. Guzik then added, The word of God must be understood before it can truly bear fruit. This makes great sense as the first fruit God’s word usually bears is the change in how one lives their life and for whom it is lived. Peter Pett’s comments take a different tack. Those by the wayside were people who were like hard, beaten down ground, resistant and unreceptive to the seed of the word of God. And just as the birds had done, the Devil would swoop down and take the word from their hearts, lest they believe and be saved. As far as he was concerned God’s seed had a nasty knack of sprouting where it ought not. There is truth here as well and this is the reason we continually place seed in front of those who often appear to be the most hard hearted. All the Devil has to do is neglect to take the seed from their hearts one time and one time only for it to take root and bear fruit in their lives.

The next verse about not believing is different as it says 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. Time of testing could just as easily read time of trials or tribulation. For these temporary believers, they actually take a temporary emotional joy when they initially hear the word and receive it. The Pulpit Commentary aptly describes such believers, These represent natures at once impressionable and excitable; impulsive men and women who, charmed with the beauty, perhaps (to them) the novelty, of the gospel message, receive the Word, take up the Master’s yoke with joy, but without thought. These hastily make a religious profession, but they forget altogether to count what the real cost of such a profession amounts to. Upon these superficial but kindly natures come trouble, perplexity, discouragement, perhaps persecution; then quickly the once-loved religion withers away like corn growing on rocky places beneath the burning summer sun. Many of us who have spent years in church have seen these believers come with great enthusiasm for a short period of time and then suddenly they disappear never to be seen or heard from again.

The third category is, 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. While it does not contain the word believe in most versions, in the Tree of Life Bible (TLB) it reads as, The seed among the thorns represents those who listen and believe God’s words but whose faith afterwards is choked out by worry and riches and the responsibilities and pleasures of life. And so they are never able to help anyone else to believe the Good News.

The most interesting part of comparing the two versions is they do not mature in the NIV is they are never able to help anyone else to believe the Good News indicating a mature believer will want to help other believe God’s Good News. This compares closely to the next verse about the seeds sown on good soil, 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. Many versions have fruit in place of crop and TLB let us know the crop or fruit is a result of helping others to believe in the Good News. This fits well with a recent Sunday message on Producing Fruit if you are interested. Bottom Line: Are we producing fruit? In our own life? Are we bringing God’s Good News to others as Jesus would have us do?

RileyD, nwJ
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton