The Book of Luke, The Parable of the Soils, Part III - Lesson 99
Luke 8:11-15, Now 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.
We are in the eighth chapter of the book of Luke where we see the Lord Jesus Christ presented to us by Luke as a preacher, as the creator, as the deliverer, the healer and as the Son of God.
Luke begins this chapter with the Parable of the Sower.
He continues with our Lordís stilling of the storm.
We will go on to read about Jesusí deliverance of the maniac of Gadara, the healing of the woman who touched his garment, and the raising from the dead of the daughter of Jarius.
Last week in our study we were introduced to the parable of the sower and we learned why our Lord taught in parables.
His teaching in parables was never an attempt to make things simple but to make things hard.
It was a method which caused division and which was designed to attract those whose hearts were receptive to the message.
And it was designed to repel those who were enemies of the faith, those who wished to destroy.
We must remember that the Gospel message is a message of reconciliation and also a message of condemnation.
It is Godís great dividing message for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
Those who reject Jesus Christ are forever divided from those who receive Jesus Christ.
When you present the Gospel and it results in the repelling of some it has done its job just as much as when some are attracted.
But in order to get an hundred fold return all the seed must be broadcast, even to the broadcasting of the seed in the wayside, in the rocky and the thorny places, and in the good soil.
The parable of the sower is about four different types of soil.
And each soil represents a living breathing soul.
The first soil we are introduced to is the hardened soil of the wayside.
It is tired soil for it has been hard packed by the travelers and as such will not bring forth fruit.
The hardened soil represents those souls whose hearts have never been open to the gospel, who have never responded positively to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The scribes and Pharisees of Jesusí day seem generally to fall into this category, hardened by their religion for it conflicted with the truth.
We all know by our own experiences and relationships how religion can harden a person to the truth of the Bible.
For the practice of anything gives the practitioner a vested interest in preserving that which is practiced and to protect it from that which may destroy it.
Religion falls into this category most easily, for people invest their lives in religion and desire to protect it.
We know how religion can cause the heart to be closed, to be shut tight to truth for what is taught by religion is esteemed more highly than truth.
The gospel truth makes no impression on those whose religion preaches otherwise.
The gospel preaches salvation by the grace of God through faith but the grace of God bumps head on into the doctrine that good works will save.
Tradition is supreme in the eyes of these souls and no amount of truth will break down their wall of tradition.
The truth may even be examined by the religionists but it is not examined with a pure heart, it is only examined to find fault that it does not measure up to their religion.
All kinds of notions are allowed and encouraged to enter into the ears of the religious that will cloud the truth and render it useless to them.
They are the hardened soil that the seed, that is the word of God, cannot penetrate.
Since the seed does not penetrate their heart Satan is allowed to snatch the gospel from their religious hearts, so there can be no response, no new birth, no fruit.
The second soilóthe shallow soilórepresents those souls who positively respond, (receive the word with joy the Lord says) to our Lordís teaching, but only due to an inadequate grasp of the wordís implications.
The shallow soil represent the emotional people.
Emotion can be good but it can also be very dangerous to the reception of truth.
The shallow soil people are not people whose emotions are based upon deep seated convictions but their emotions are superficial.
They have not root.
They are shallow soil folk and do not count the cost to follow Christ and when the cost gets too high they flee.
These folks respond positively to the word because they think that it is a kind of a happy days are here again kind of gospel which promises only good times, blessing, happiness, and bliss.
These folks make a great show of promise; they not only believe for a while but they receive the Word with joy.
They are enthusiastic about the word but they only use it as a salve to cover some pain.
But when the pain is gone so are they gone.
The quickness of the response is an indication of their lack of depth, or their lack of perception as to what the gospel really means.
This understanding certainly was not due to our Lordís misrepresentation of the gospel.
It is the result of selective hearing, of hearing only the good and pleasant things, rather than hearing of the costs involved in discipleship, of which our Lord often spoke.
It is the hearing of only that which they want to hear and in time of trial they fall away.
It is a deafness to the entirety of the message of Christ.
A simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount will show how our Lord carefully represented the blessings and the costs of following Him.
John captured these folk in 1 John 2:19 when he wrote:
19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
So as we progress through the four soils which represent men and women, we see a progression of degree of response to the gospel.
The wayside soil brings no response, the rocky soil brings some response, and the third thorny soil brings more response but still a falling away but more gradually.
The third soil, the thorny soil, represents those who have a more complete grasp of the cost of discipleship, but who have never rid themselves of the ďcares of this world.Ē
Their concerns for money and for pleasure outgrow their seeking first the kingdom of God, and thus their priorities are reversed.
It is not that the people represented by this thorny soil do not understand the costs of discipleship, but that they are not willing to pay the price.
It is not a lack of knowledge which causes them to err, but a lack of commitment, a lack of dedication.
Churches are filled with thorny soil kind of folk, folk who should be growing but are not because of the lack of will to grow.
They are under the same seed broadcasting as those whom the good soil represent but they are filled with cares or worries of this life.
They have a craving for wealth or position, or the desire for pleasures all of which to them, hold a higher place than that of spiritual growth for God.