We next see Jesus travelling around the area teaching in towns and villages (Luke 8.1) accompanied by His disciples and some women who had been healed (v.2). Luke then tells us this:
“While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable:
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.”
As he said this, he called out,
“The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”
(Luke 8.4-8, NET)
It’s likely that among the large crowd that was listening, there were those that responded to Him in the ways He talked about here.
There would be – and still are – those who are deceived and have the Word hidden from them (Luke 8.12).
There are those that receive the Word with joy but are not firmly rooted in anything and therefore fall away in tough times (Luke 8.13).
There are those who hear the Word but are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and therefore never mature in their faith (Luke 8.14).
There are those who hear, cling to what they’ve heard, and bear fruit from what has taken root inside them (Luke 8.15).
Was this a lie? Was this lunacy?
John A. Martin writes this, dispelling any thoughts that Jesus was speaking neither truth nor of reality:
“As Jesus’ ministry progressed, it was evident that each of these groups surfaced:
(1) The Pharisees and religious leaders refused to believe.
(2) Some people rallied around Jesus because of His miracles of healing and feeding but refused to stay with His message (e.g., John 6:66).
(3) Others, such as the rich ruler (Luke 18:18-30), were interested in Jesus but would not accept Him because of the strong pull of materialism.
(4) Others followed Him and were committed to His Word regardless of the cost (e.g., 8:1-3).”
Hopefully the fact that you’re reading this means you’re not in the first group. We want to be in the fourth group, don’t we, but we struggle with groups two and three:
- There is something inescapably attractive about the message of Jesus in that it draws us in, in some way or another, no matter how we feel about it, but then do we stick with it when times are tough?
- There is something inescapably interesting about the claims that Jesus made, no matter how we feel about them, but are we willing to resist the strong pull of materialism, as Martin puts it?
I really believe that if you want to, you will. Teaching through 1 Thessalonians recently I said this, a great thought to take into the day:
“With your commitment to live this life and His empowering to do so, there is nothing that can stand in your way.
I really believe that with more commitment from you, comes more empowering from Him.”
(The Saar Fellowship Podcast, emphasis added, full message below)
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