Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 8:8 And other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great. As He said these things, He would call out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Today we will look at one of the many parables Jesus told His followers in order to help them understand the Christian life as He intended. This one is known as the parable of the sower. It also was called the Parable of the Four Soils. The main character mentioned here is a sower who scatters seed in the field, which ultimately falls on four different types of soil. The seed represents the Word of God, and the ground on which it falls is a picture of man’s response to it. Now, let us look at each of the soil types alluded to here.
First, “and as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air ate it up. Luke 8:5. The hard ground speaks of a person who’s heart is hardened by sin. They hear what is said but do not understand because they choose not to take the time to consider the reality of it. The picture is of a seed that does not take root because of the hard soil, just as the Word of God does not take root because of a hardened heart. They are therefore distracted by the things of this world which prevent the truth from being planted in them. Therefore, truth is trampled underfoot or is taken away.
Next we see the stony ground. “And other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.” Luke 8:6. The stony ground represents a man who professes joy in the Word; however, his heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, his so-called faith quickly goes away. When seed is planted in shallow soil it will often start growing, there will be some signs of life. But that life does not last. The soil is simply not deep enough to sustain life. There’s not enough water for the plant so eventually the sun will scorch out all life. In essence, as plants need deep roots to get water and nutrients, Christians need deep roots in the Word and teachings in order grow and refresh their faith. Without it, they have no roots. Their belief does not last, and they fail to stand up to testing and temptation.
Other seeds then fall among thorns. “And other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out.” Luke 8:7. These are not an overgrown thistle-field, but a place in the farmland that is suitable to grow crops. The idea is that the thistles and thorn bushes have been cut off from the land, but the roots are still intact and they grow up again, entirely suffocating the crops, since they grow much quicker. The true picture is good seed competing with bad seed where they grow up together. The implication is obvious. Our lives may look pure with no known danger of bad weeds, but the bad seeds are there. It is important that we guard our heart. We need to be constantly looking out for anything that wants to attack our faith.
And finally, in our focus verse, “And other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great. As He said these things, He would call out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:8. The good ground portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in his life. The man represented by the good ground is the only one of the four who is truly saved, because salvation is proven by the fruit we produce. This soil represents those who hear the Gospel and follow Jesus. Their roots go deep and can sustain the hardships of life. They have guarded their hearts to ensure no thorns can choke out their life. They are primed and ready to grow. And grow they do. Their lives produce more than they could have ever imagined.
To summarize, a man’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart. A secondary lesson here is that salvation is more than a superficial, yet joyful, hearing of the gospel. Someone who is truly saved will go on to prove it. They will be that shining light that draws the lost to our loving God. Let us go out and be that seed that grows in the good soil and produces a great harvest of followers of God. Let us go out and make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples, ad infinitum.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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