22010.240 The Sower and the Seed

“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.’”—Luke 8:4–5

Unwilling, unrepentant, unchanged—words that might be used to describe the hearts of those Jesus might be describing as the seed that was trampled on 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:

“Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who have heard; 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

This seems to be a pretty straightforward explanation! 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 a decision. In Matthew He gives more insight into this same issue:

“Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around 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. This type of response to the truth of God’s Word is 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 who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!” —Matthew 23:37

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

“I wish that you would be patient with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you are being patient with me! For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a 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 are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.’” —Romans 10:14–15

Become More

“The one who has ears had better listen!” —Matthew 11:15

Further Reflection

“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

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