“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. 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 ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.’ When he said this, he called out, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’ His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.” 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. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.’” Luke 8:1-15
Jesus told a story: A sower went out to sow some seed. Some of it fell along the path, but there it was trampled underfoot, snatched away, and eaten by birds. The seed along the hard path never really had a chance. Some of the seeds got tossed onto rocks. The rocks were probably covered over by a thin layer of soil so the plants could quickly start to grow. But then they withered away because their little roots couldn’t find moisture among the hard rocks to keep growing strong. There was the seed that was thrown among the thorns, and the thorns choked out the growing plants. But then there was the seed that fell onto good soil. This seed grew and grew and became plants that produced fruit and yielded a hundredfold crop. But the disciples didn’t understand. How often do we read something in the Scripture that we don’t understand? So, they did what we should do; they asked Jesus and He graciously explained. The seed is the Word of God and the soil is people’s hearts. There are those who are like the trampled path. The seed is sown, but because their hearts are hard they don’t receive it. The devil, like the birds, snatches it away and they don’t believe. Then there are those like the rocks. They hear, receive the Word at first with great joy, but sadly, never allow the Word to take root. Soon, their beginning faith begins to wither and when testing comes, they fall away. The thorns are the worries and cares of this world, the concerns about money and pleasure that can consume and choke out growth. So, for some there is never any fruit. But there is good soil. There are those with hearts ready to receive. They listen. They really hear. They read and study and nurture and let their faith grow deep. Then the plant just naturally grows and produces a fruitful crop. Jesus story begs a question. What kind of soil are we?