Summary: what is the soil of your heart?
I have this against you, Jesus said, you have left your first love. Last week we learned about the carnal Christian, the one who has gotten off track, but how can it happen. How does one fall out of love? How does one transfer their affections to another?
Tonight lets look at the soil of our love. Turn to Luke 8. Jesus is teaching a parable about farming, and in particular, the soil in which the seeds are planted. He begins in verse 5, A farmer went out to sow his seed. With out the modern technology available today, the farmer in Jesus time somewhat like Johnny Appleseed, would take his mule and bags of seed, walk out onto his property and cast the seed to the ground. Can you picture this. He throws the seeds out, they go here and there, in fact everywhere. The idea was to saturate the land with as much seeds as possible so the farmer would gain some productivity for his efforts.
Jesus told his listeners, As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Here is the farmer, throwing the seed out, and as some of it lands, it ends up in the direct path the farmer is walking. Some of it being pressed into the ground by his steps, other seeds ground into the soles of his shoes. Birds were flying down and looking at and partaking in dinner.
Lets look on, verse 6. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. These seeds fell on land that had a thin layer of soil, but underneath was rocks and stones. These seeds were unable to get the moisture necessary in the ground for growth, their roots were unable to go deep in the soil to draw up the moisture, so their died because the soil they were planted in could not sustain life.
Jesus continued, Still other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Have you ever noticed that weeds grow faster than plants? These thorns grew so fast they choked out the life of the good plants.
Jesus said, Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. Basically, this soil had the right balance of moisture, nutrients and care and therefore produced the desired results.
Jesus ends the parable with He who has ears to hear, let him hear. In essence, Jesus is saying, just because you have ears doesn’t mean you are listening, but I want you to pay close attention. When you hear a teacher in school tell you to pay attention, you know there will be a test with this information on it. And if you don’t understand, the teacher would want you to raise you hand and ask a question to clarify what he or she just taught.
Well, that is what Jesus was expecting, and sure enough, the students did not understand the parable. How do I know? Verse 9, His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
They understood the sower going out to sow. That was a regular sight seeing the farmer at work. But they knew Jesus was trying to say something else to them, and they were missing the point.
Now Jesus, instead of getting right into the answer, says something quite interesting, catch this in verse 10, The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, through seeing, they may not see; through hearing, they may not understand.
I hope you will see this important statement for what it means. The disciples had come to Jesus, heard the parable, and afterward, asked what does it mean. But the disciples were not the only ones present at the teaching. In fact, verse 4 informs us large crowds had gathered and people were coming from town to town to hear Jesus teach.
People are attracted to the ministry. The crowd assemble. But the crowd is along for the ride, they like the stories Jesus told, today many come because they like to hear the stories Jesus told repeated in church. They liked the way he put together the phrases, to hear him talk in a way the ordinary person could understand. Basically they liked hearing Jesus but they never got deep enough to ask the all important question, Jesus, what do you mean?
I want you to catch this principle, Your ability to perceive divine truth is related to how much you want to know. If you are satisfied with a story here and a story there, a good feeling here and a good feeling there, you will never understand fully all that God has for you in His Word.