The Sower and the Seed

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.” (Luke 8:4-5)

Unwilling, unrepentant, unchanged–words that might be used to describe the hearts of those Jesus refers to in the above verses from the Parable of the Sower. Later in this chapter, when Jesus gives the meaning of the parable to His disciples, He says:

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:11-12)

“In a final lament over the city of Jerusalem, Jesus stated His desire for that nation. Jerusalem, the capital, represented the entire nation, and people there had killed the prophets and stoned those sent to them (cf. Matthew 23:34; 21:35). He longed to gather the nation together much as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. The nation, unlike chicks that naturally run to their mother hen in times of danger, willfully refused (“you were not willing”) to turn to the Lord. They were responsible to make a choice and their choice brought condemnation. The result was their house was left … desolate, or alone.” –Bible Knowledge Commentary
Pretty straightforward explanation! The bottom line is that each one of us is held accountable for what our ears hear and our eyes see. Many of us are blessed to receive excellent instruction from God’s Word from outstanding preachers, commentaries, books, and media sources. We are exposed to truth over and over again. However we often close our hearts, thereby trampling the truth underfoot. Jesus makes it clear here that the Gospel always demands decision. In Matthew He gives more insight into this same issue:

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

When we entrust holy things to unholy people, we run the risk of having the truth trampled under their feet, and then having them turn and tear us to pieces! This is exactly what happened to Jesus with the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of His day. The types of relationships Jesus encountered are not any different than what we encounter in our day! Their response to Him broke the heart of our Savior. In Matthew, we are told:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”
(Matthew 23:37)

Paul had deep anguish of heart over the rejection of the gospel by the so many of his fellow Jews. He echoes this same tenderness in regarding the redeemed who were being led astray:

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:1-3)

At the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus commanded all of His followers to go and make disciples. Paul tells us:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)

Take It to Heart

“He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)

Next