The Book of Luke, The Parable of the Soils, Part II - Lesson 98
Luke 8:4-15, And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 5A 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. 6And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12Those 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. 13They 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. 14And 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. 15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Jesus in this passage explains His purpose in speaking by means of parables as the concealment of the secrets of the kingdom from the crowds, while revealing them to His followers.
As a good gardener weeds her garden so as to promote the growth of her valuable plants so Christ recognized the need of weeding his audience.
We must remember that Jesus Christ did not come to bring addition but division for his is a quality ministry, not simply a ministry of quantity and quality requires separation.
Skip ahead to Luke 12:51 and hear what he says, Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
The preaching of parables is reasoned toward this end for the Father is a good husbandman and everything he does is to promote fruit in his garden and that includes the pulling and discarding of weeds to the saving of the fruitful plants.
Toward this end He has told the crowds the parable of the sower who sowed seed in four different places, places described by the condition of the soil.
These places were the wayside, a place where the soil was founded upon a rock, a place of soil where thorn seeds also resided, and a place where there was what Jesus Christ calls good ground.
The parable of the soils describes what becomes of seed that is sown in four different types of soil.
All the seed is the same seed.
There is no problem with the seed for all the seed is from the same source.
There is no problem with the sower for he sows the seed fairly and consistently upon all of the different kinds of soil.
The first type of soil is the hardened soil of the pathway or wayside.
This seed only penetrates the soil as much as the many feet of the passersby press it into the soil but the seed does not have any chance to grow for it is quickly snatched up by the birds of the air.
The seed makes no impression and it is as if the seed had never been there.
The second type of soil is the rocky soil, a shallow layer of earth, barely covering the rock below.
The seed which falls upon this type of soil quickly germinates, aided by the warmth retained by the rock, but hindered by a lack of depth and by a lack of moisture.
The seed which germinates quickly also terminates quickly for any moisture in such shallow soil quickly dies out and leaves the plant without sustenance and that which did come up quickly died away.
The third soil is the thorny soil, a soil populated with thorns.
The seed falling into this soil germinates and begins to grow, but is eventually crowded out by the hardier thorns which take the moisture and prevent the sun from reaching the new growth.
There is too much competition from the thorny plants for the soil to support the seed that was cast by the sower.
The fourth soil is the fruitful soil, that soil which produces a bountiful crop, a hundredfold kind of crop.
This soil is not hardened, it is not shallow soil upon a rock, it does not have other seed in it competing for the sun, and water and allows the seed to grow unhindered.
This is the parable that the Lord Jesus told to the crowd without giving them any interpretation but only telling them: ďHe that hath ears to hear, let him hear.Ē
The ďheĒ that hath ears to hear is a call to the one who is good soil for that is where Godís seed will bear fruit.
All the other soil have less hearing capability going from deaf soil to good hearing soil..
So the call is to the hearing, those that hear the word of God.
I wonder how many times the Lord Jesus said this exhortation to the crowds.
Perhaps it was a repeated exhortation similar to that of a parent telling his child to listen while instruction is being given.
Momma says to the child, Didnít God give you ears to hear?
Perhaps it is similar to a wife telling her husband as he asks a question about which she just told him.
You never listen to me, she says.
Are your ears just for hearing the news or the football game?
You have ears, why canít they be in tune with me?
But this exhortation of the Lord Jesus is a repeated exhortation throughout the scriptures and is repeated many times for it is a needed exhortation.
Why? Because unless it is heeded it will lead to the unpardonable sin of unbelief.
For belief requires the hearing ear.
Ears must be used to hear, that is, to listen closely, and take to heart and to translate into action.
True belief in order to be true belief, must produce works.
Godís word is a working word, a fruit bearing word.
If no fruit results Godís word fell on deaf ears.
So Jesus does not enlighten the crowd as to the meaning of this parable but invites those that have ears to hear to apply them to discover the meaning of the sower, his seed and the soil the seed fell upon.
This principle is not just for the hearing of the word of God for salvation but it applies to you and to me right here in this service as we listen to the preaching and teaching of the word of God.
Listening is a matter of the will.
Having hearing ears is a matter of the will.
When you come in that door have you called your ears to attention or will they be at ease throughout the service?
Are your ears at the ready to hear what is being taught and what is being preached or are they in neutral?
It is a matter of the will.
So after the Lord Jesus finished explaining His purpose in speaking by means of parables to his disciples He goes on to explain the meaning to his disciples of this particular parable of the soils.
The parable explains the different responses which men have toward the gospel.
Four different responses are given, along with four different causes and four distinct results.
The sowing of the seed symbolizes the spreading of the gospel, the good news.
The seed which is sown is the Word of God so we know that the seed is perfect seed and that the seed is not the problem.
Where there is a problem the problem is with the soil.
Jesus tells us that the sower went out to sow his seed so we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the sower for the seed, the Word of God, is his for he is the Word of God.