Summary: This is part two of the series. In the message we examine how Mark translated the parable to the sower and the differences from Luke's translation in part one.
Satan’s Battle Tactics
Two weeks ago I shared with you the first tactic of Satan’s battle plan which is to steal the word from our hearts. We know that faith comes by hearing the word of God and if we are not hearing it then we will have very little faith as it relates to our relationship with God. If we are hearing the word of God, then Satan attempts to steal what we have heard in order to prevent you from using it. Why? Because we please God through faith and through faith we overcome him. Satan knows better than we do what lies within the power of our faith and it’s because of this knowledge that he works so hard to keep the word of God from us. In part one, we examine the parable of the sower as recorded in the book of Luke chapter eight. This morning we will examine the same parable from Mark’s perspective because Mark uses different words to describe the meaning of where the seeds landed. Before we go there I want to go back to our foundation Scripture found in John 10:10.
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” I shared this verse last week but I did not elaborate on it. In this verse Jesus tells us plainly that Satan has a plan for our life – to steal, kill and destroy everything good within our life. He wants to destroy our jobs, our joy, our happiness, health, finances, our marriage and especially our kids. He literally wants to destroy any and everything he can get his hands on. The word “thief” comes from the Greek word klepto, which means to steal. (Have you ever heard the term kleptomaniac? It’s a term for someone who has a persistent, neurotic impulse to steal.) In the Greek this word paints a picture of a bandit, pickpocket, or thief who is so artful in the way he steals that his thievery is nearly undetectable. Jesus used this term to let us know that the devil is very cunning in the way he steals from people. He knows that if he does it outright, his actions will be recognized; therefore, he steals from people in such a deceptive way that he often accomplishes his evil goal before they even know he has stolen from them!
The thief not only comes to steal, but he also comes to kill. It would appear at first glance that this means to kill, as in to take someone’s life. However, the Greek word for kill in this verse is thuo which means to sacrifice. It originally referred to the sacrificial (killing) giving of animals on the altar. It could mean “to sacrifice; to surrender; or to give up something that is precious and dear.” This word in the Greek had nothing to do with killing in the terms of murder. Because Jesus used this word to describe the work of the thief, He is telling us that if the thief hasn’t already walked away with everything we hold precious and dear, he will then try to convince us that we need to sacrifice or give up everything he hasn’t already taken from us. Do you understand this? What he cannot steal he influences us to give it up freely. The thief cannot bear the fact that we possess any kind of blessing and therefore if he is unsuccessful at stealing the good things from our life he will try to convince us to give it up freely just because he does not want us to have it!!!
The last thing Jesus said about the thief was that he comes to destroy. The word “destroy” comes from the Greek word apollumi which means “to destroy.” It carries the idea of something that is ruined, wasted, trashed, devastated, and destroyed. By using this word, we discover that if the thief is unsuccessful in his attempts to steal from us or convince us to sacrifice what we hold dear, then he will try to ruin it! Can you see this? Now even though this is the devil’s plan, Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” That term “may have” comes from the Greek tense that means “to have and to continually possess.” The “life” Jesus offers us is “zoe”, which suggests a life that is filled with vitality. The word “abundantly” is from the Greek word “periossos” and it means “to be above, beyond what is regular, extraordinary or even exceeding. So whereas the devil comes to steals, Jesus came to give and to ensure that we keep it!!! I ask that you keep this in mind this morning as we re-examine the parable of the sower.