Summary: Are you rootless? Those in this category get excited for a while when they hear the word. But, when it gets tough, they aren’t...because they haven’t developed the capacity to hang in there by holding onto at least what they know for now.


What Kind of Ground Am I?

Text: Luke 8:4-15; Hebrews 5:11-14

Our text is Luke 8:4-15, and later we will use a passage in Hebrews; Hebrews 5:11-14.

Listen as I read God’s Word.

[4] While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: [5] “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. [6] Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. [7] Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. [8] Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

[9] His disciples asked him what this parable meant. [10] He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ [Isaiah 6:9] [11] “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. [12] Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. [13] Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. [14] The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. [15] But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

What kind of ground are you?

I believe that’s the question that is being asked of us today in this parable Jesus tells us.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus said this several times on several occasions.

For instance, Revelation uses this phrase 8 times: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Why did Jesus say this?

After all, don’t we all have ears?

What could he have meant?

Chuck Swindoll told this story: An 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 Indian insisted, “Wait a minute!”

He led his friend along, slowly.

They stopped, and the 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 mulch 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 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 all depends on what you’re listening for.

Do you suppose there are times and phases in our lives when we don’t hear?

[illus. Our children listening selectively]

There are times when we CAN’T hear what the Spirit is saying to us?

[I hope you heard Him and I hope you said “yes.”]

Are you hearing right now?

Or, are you drowning out the voice of the Lord?

I’ll ask you the question Jesus asked his disciples in Mark’s recording of this same parable.

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