Summary: Sermon on Luke 8:4-15 - Birds, Rocks, Thorns

Luke 8:4-15 (Matt 13:1-23; Mk 4:1-20)

Birds, rocks, thorns


ILL -- It depends what you are listening to

Chuck Swindoll told this story: An Red Indian was walking in downtown New York City alongside a friend who was a resident of the city. Right in the center of Manhattan, the Indian seized his friend’s arm and whispered, "Wait! I hear a cricket." His friend said, "Come on! A cricket? Man, this is downtown New York. He persisted, "No, seriously, I really do."

"It’s impossible!" was the response. "You can’t hear a cricket! Taxis going by. Horns honkin’. People screamin’ at each other. Brakes screeching. Both sides of the street filled with people. Cash registers clanging away. Subways roaring beneath us. You can’t possibly hear a cricket!"

The Red Indian insisted, "Wait a minute!" He led his friend along, slowly. They stopped, and the Red Indian walked down to the end of the block, went across the street, looked around, cocked his head to one side, but couldn’t find it. He went across another street, and there in a large cement planter where a tree was growing, he dug into the mud and found the cricket. "See!" he yelled, as he held the insect high above his head. His friend walked across the street, marveling, "How in the world could it be that you heard a cricket in the middle of downtown busy Manhattan?"

The Red Indian said, "Well, my ears are different from yours. It simply depends on what you’re listening to. Here, let me show you." And he reached in his pocket and pulled out a handful of change--a couple of quarters, three or four nickels, and some dimes and pennies. Then he said, "Now watch." He held the coins waist high and dropped them to the sidewalk. Every head within a block turned around and looked in the direction of the Indian.

It depends on what you are listening to.

Today’s passage may be a familiar one to most of us, the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. For most of us, when we read this passage, we think it’s talking about spreading the Gospel and the different responses people have when we reach out to them. But just as Jesus warns, he who ears to hear, let him hear (v.8).

You see, Jesus tells this parable to the crowds that gather round him (v.4). So yes, it appears that His message is to non-believers. But note that His explanation (v.9) was only to His disciples. Also, this passage lies after Jesus sends out the 12 disciples, and Himself has been travelling to towns and villages, proclaiming the good news (v.1). Also, straight after this passage, Jesus reminds His disciples that no one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or under a bed (v.16).

So, I’d like to invite you to be open to what God might be speaking to you today through this passage, because I believe that there is something in this passage that is relevant to all of us, as His disciples, and that all of us can apply in our lives.

Let us stand and read Luke, chapter 8, verses 4 to 15 together.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word, help us to hear You speaking to our hearts today as we look into Your Word, and I pray that You would help us to understand and apply it into our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Birds, rocks and thorns. That’s the title of the message today. We will go through the different types of soil briefly and look at how this applies to our lives today.

The one underlying thing we need to keep in the back of our minds throughout this message is in v.11, that the seed is the Word of God. So just keep that in the back of your head as we go through this passage together.

Birds, rocks and thorns. Firstly, birds.

1. Birds (v. 5,12)

The farmer sows his seed. Some fell along the path. The birds came, ate it up, it got trampled on. And Jesus explains to his disciples, that this represent the devil coming and taking way the word from man’s hearts, so that they will not believe (v.12). Now this seems to be the most clear-cut, that it is talking about non-believers. Right? Yes, to a large extent. But I believe that it also talks about the hardness of our hearts to believe God’s Word.

How many of us have ever heard God’s word preached and you know that God is speaking to you, but we chose not to believe it, we ignore, we deny, we choose not to listen. That is like the seed that falls along the hardened path. It is easily snatched away, and easily trampled on.

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