Summary: A look at the four soils through a science experiment, asking which soil are you.

Luke 8:4-8

June 22, 2014

What if I told you I had a gift for you? It’s really a good gift too. It’s better than dark chocolate candy with a cup of hot coffee. And let me tell you, it’s hard to get much better than that. Well, maybe it would be having some stuffed pizza first, then the candy and coffee. Then a nap. Now you’re talking!

Oh, back to the gift. What if I told you I had a gift that could change your life forever? It would, if you were willing take away so much pain and longing in your life. It would not cost you a penny. You know where I’m heading, don’t you? The gift is Jesus!

Would you accept that gift? Would you accept His grace, forgiveness, love, joy, His peace. Those all sound so sweet and feminine. So, for the tough guys out there, would you accept His courage, His power, His strength, would you accept the God of the heavenly armies to be on your side, would you put on His armor, wield His sword, defend yourself with His shield? Sounds good doesn’t it?

But do we take what Jesus offers us? I mean who would turn all of that down? Let alone turn down eternal life? Who would turn down heaven for hell? Why do people say a resounding NO to the message of Christ?

Today we’re going to look at a parable which answers some of that question. You see, it’s not the messenger who is being rejected. When people say NO, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting the message. Ultimately, it’s a heart condition. It's all about the heart condition of the hearer. That's the issue. Jesus told a story about our hearts in the best way He could, through a parable. Before we get there, Jesus said this about our hearts.

20 And Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.

21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,

22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.

23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” – Mark 7:20-23

So, Jesus is telling us, it’s our hearts which are evil, where sin flows from. And in Luke 8:4-15, Jesus told this parable ~

4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable,

5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it.

6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it.

8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.

14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

You see, this story is about the soil, it’s not about the seed. The seed never changes. The same seed is being thrown, and the same individual is throwing the seed. So it’s not about a variation in the seed, and it’s not a variation in their methodology. It’s a variation in the soil that brings about the variation in the results.

Remember in verse 4, Jesus was surrounded by a great crowd, but now He’s talking to the disciples and those who want to stick around and learn what the parable means. That huge crowd was now separated into the people who want to know what this means, and the people who don’t care. They were the indifferent crowd — those who came for the miracles, the signs, the wonders, the show. But they didn’t have a particular interest in the truth.

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