During his earthly ministry, Jesus often times used parables to convey a message. By definition a parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.
The beauty of Biblical parables is that while they are saturated with examples and scenarios that people in Biblical times could relate to, the messages they contain are universal making them relevant even today!
Each parable has a purpose—but there is one in particular that challenged me this week. And that is The Parable of the Sower.
In a nutshell, The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:1-15) is a story about a farmer who went out to sow his seed and as he was scattering the seed, some fell…
- On the path and it was trampled on producing no plants
- On rocks and the when the plants grew they withered because there was no moisture
- Among thorns and when the plants grew they were chocked by thorns
- On good soil and when the plants grew they yielded crops
The seed in the parable is the word of God. Some people are…
- Along the path: they hear the word but the devil comes and snatches it from their hearts
- On the rocks: they receive the word with joy but have no root to grow
- Among thorns: they hear the word but go on their way getting choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures
- On good soil: they hear the word, retain it and by persevering produce a crop
To read entire parable, click here.
I’ve read this parable many times before and thought, ok I get it people are going to react differently to God’s word—but that is only scratching the surface. I rediscovered some sermon notes tucked away in the pages of my Bible that examined this passage and posed the questions, why? Why do people react differently to the word of God? Jesus was not preaching different things in different places—his message of the gospel was consistent, so how come it has different effects?
I glanced further down the note-filled page and uncovered the answer. The type of soil in the parable is representative of the condition of one’s heart. Reactions to the gospel have everything to do with the heart of the one receiving the message.
With this insight I went from understanding the parable to examining what category my heart falls into. And in doing so, I couldn’t help but smile when it dawned on me— throughout scripture we see God’s main concern is your heart. Your heart is the heart of the matter.
Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
1 Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the wart to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Luke 16:15 “[Jesus] said to [the Pharisees], ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.’”
What is the condition of your heart? I encourage you to make some time this week to examine yourself and reflect upon that. Let’s strive to continue building character by giving our hearts to Jesus.
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