Now the parable is this: The seed
is the word of God. Luke 8:11
The parable of the sower is perhaps the hallmark of all parables Jesus ever communicated. In fact, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus has this to say about this parable in particular:
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Mark 4:13
In other words what Jesus is saying is if you are to “get it right” concerning my word and the way into the kingdom of God, this is the one you might want to get down and master.
Why? Because it pertains to the most important aspect of one’s walk of faith – the word of God.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God“.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this.
Protection – (The Unprotected Heart)
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Luke 8:5, 12
The seed was devoured and snatched away. Why? Because the seed was left unprotected. Unprotected because it was not committed to heart and mind.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalms 119:11
The word ‘hid’ in this verse is the Hebrew word ‘tsâphan‘. The word is translated into English to mean ‘to hoard, reserve or to protect‘.
Something is stolen because the thief was undetected and the goods were unprotected. The word of God must be PROTECTED in our hearts.
Penetration – (The Uncommitted Heart)
And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Luke 8:6, 13
The seed failed because it never developed a root system: “these have no root”. The heart in this case was indifferent and uncommitted to the nurturing and care of the word of God.
Commitment is a hard phase to conquer in this journey. It takes a toll. It will be discomforting. It will demand something from us. It takes much effort to till and nurture the soil (heart) to accommodate conditions for seed growth.
Jesus said the other calamity befalling this seed was that it “lacked moisture“.
Roots have an inherent quality to seek out water sources. The root system failed to developed because it never reached an adequate water source (God’s spirit).
Roots will burrow through underground terra-cotta pipes and concrete to reach a source of light or water.
As the song of old sings:
I shall not be, I shall not be moved.
Just like a tree that is planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.
We must allow our spiritual root system to be constantly refreshed by fresh influxes of God’s cool springs of living water. How? Through prayer, fasting , study of the word of God and worship.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. Psalms 1:3, 93:13
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
Perfection – (The Undisciplined Heart)
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. Luke 8:7, 14
Luke’s use of the word perfection (telesphoreō) is a compound of two Greek words –
telos and pherō̄.
Telos is translated to mean: ‘ the conclusion of an act or state, termination’.
Pherō̄ translated into English means: ‘to bear, carry or bring’.
Thus, the word perfection essentially means to bring or carry something to an act or state of conclusion – maturity.
Unripened fruit is of little value and certainly not desirable to eat. It is only when fruit is ripe that its true identity and distinctive nature (sweetness) is revealed.
Ripening is the final stage of fruit development. It is a lack of discipline at this stage that causes the seed to wither and die. Life, problems, sin, perplexities of the mind and worldly cares all get in the way and snuff out any hope for the tender, vulnerable little seed to reach perfection.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
The seed must be allowed to mature and ripen in our lives and to really “taste” the sweetness and goodness in living for God.