Summary: The second sermon in a series on Luke 8
Grace to Hear (Part Two)
Text: Luke 8:4 – 21
So this morning, we are going to look again at Luke 8 but we’re going to read a little further this morning than we did last time. And we’re going to again be talking about God’s grace, and having ears to hear… If you remember from last time, we said that the text was saying that having “ears to hear” means you’re a person who can understand the truth of God, and process that truth, and apply it correctly… and if you are a person who has a correct understanding of salvation… and understanding of God’s sovereignty in salvation, then you got that by grace. It’s a gift that has been given to you from God, by His grace. And so we’re going to continue to dig into that this morning.
(READ Luke 8:4 – 21)
Ok, so there was a crowd of people along with the disciples… Luke describes it as a “GREAT CROWD.” This may be hundreds of people, or even thousands, but verse 9 tells us that it was only the disciples who actually approached Jesus and sought out understanding of the meaning of the parable. Everyone in the crowd should’ve done that, but only the disciples did. And Jesus told His disciples that TO THEM it had been GIVEN. In other words, it was a gift of God’s grace to give understanding to His disciples. That’s why Jesus used parables… Jesus explained to the disciples that the whole reason He was teaching in a parable was so that people WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND, because to them it had not been given.
So what we’re seeing in this passage is that there are two kinds of hearing… One is with our physical ears. The ability to hear sounds, and noises, and things like that. And the other kind of hearing is to hear with “spiritual ears”… Which allows a person to rightly understand what God is saying. The disciples had ears to hear. The crowds didn’t. The crowds heard the words of Jesus, but didn’t understand. To them, Jesus was just giving a basic lesson on farming. To them, Jesus was saying, “Make sure you sow your seeds in the right spot.”
But as we all know, there was a lot more to it than that.
You see; 1st Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the cross is folly (or foolishness) to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
And 2nd Corinthians 2:14 says, “The natural person DOES NOT accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (or foolishness) to him, and he IS NOT ABLE to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
So if we go back to our text here in Luke and we look at verse 18, listen to what Jesus says, “Take care then how you hear.” Now this is interesting to me, because we tend to read that and not give it much thought… How many times have we all said (Myself included)… “Oh I hope the pastor gives a good sermon today.” “I hope the Sunday School teacher gives us a good lesson.” But did you guys know that the Bible actually talks very little… and I mean VERY LITTLE about preaching style. It’s concerned with content, but not style. And we all do that. We say, “I like the WAY this guy preaches, and the WAY this guy teaches.” But the main thing the Bible talks about when a pastor is preaching, or when a teacher is teaching, or when a Christian is sharing the Gospel – is the CONTENT of their message. Not their preaching or teaching style. In other words, “WHAT” we say, rather than “HOW” we go about saying it. Preaching style is something of our own personal preference. And the point here is that preaching is important… I’d even say it’s essential based on what Scripture says and teaches… but hearing is also extremely important.
“Take care how you hear!”
There’s a story about an older couple who were driving from Dallas Texas to Oklahoma City. They were both in their mid 80’s and as sometimes happens, the wife had a serious hearing problem. Anyway… just as they crossed the state line into Oklahoma they were pulled over by a Highway Patrolman for speeding. The Trooper asked the husband if he knew how fast he was going and the wife, not being able to hear very well asked, “What did he say?” The husband replied, “He asked if I knew I was speeding.”
Looking at the husband’s driver’s license the officer said, “I see you’re from Texas.” And the husband said, “Yes officer, we’re from Dallas.” Again the wife asked, “What did you just say?” And the husband told her, “I said we’re from Dallas.” The State Trooper shook his head and just making conversation said, “The meanest woman I ever knew was from Dallas.” The wife again asked, “What did he just say?” To which the husband replied, “He said he thinks he knows you.” (Taken and adapted from an illustration found on Sermon Central).