Jesus gave His disciples an astonishing promise in Luke 8:10,
“To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”
And because we are His disciples today, it’s also His promise to us. We can ask Him questions and He will reveal mysteries. The Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth.
Jesus made that amazing statement just before explaining the parable of the sower to His followers. He begins,
“The seed is the word of God” (v. 11)
We need to receive His Word not just once, but continually, so that His promises quicken and His truth germinates in our hearts.
Keep in mind that while we receive seed, we are also sowers—so watch what you sow into your own heart. What kind of things do you tell yourself? Saying “How could I be so stupid” is not the Word of God—that’s “the word of you.” Instead, encourage yourself in the Spirit. Admit your mistake and say, “I can do better next time.” Meditate on the seed of God’s Word all day, every day. Tell yourself, “This is what God says about me. I want to believe it. I do believe it!”
Jesus goes on to list four types of fields in the parable—describing the kind of hearts, minds and spirits where the Word of God is sown.
“Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (v. 12)
Sadly, some people say, “This isn’t for me.” The word is snatched away before it has a chance to grow.
“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away” (v. 13)
This seed starts out well, then fails. Everybody sins. So when it happens, let Peter’s story comfort you. He assured Jesus that even if everyone else deserted Him, he would not. Yet as Jesus was being led away to be beaten, Peter could not even stand up to a servant girl and admit knowing Him. What did Jesus do afterward? He came directly to Peter and restored him three times—once for every denial. He was essentially saying, “Feed My lambs. Go out and be a sower again, Peter. You’ve got it in you. I am with you.”
“Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity” (v. 14)
It may be tempting to think, “I really don’t need to pray and study the Word as much anymore.” Daily responsibilities and the entertainment available in the modern world are not necessarily bad, yet they can easily become a nest of thorns and choke off our fruitfulness.
What does it mean to be fruitful in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” The key to fruitfulness is remaining in Him—the source of our vitality, strength and joy.
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15)
It can be challenging to keep our hearts in noble and good condition. Yet if we fail, God says, “Who gives you a new heart? Who gives you a new spirit? All you have to do is ask.”
He declares in Jeremiah 31:33,
“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
God promises to write His Word on our hearts so we may observe it. And in keeping His Word, we bear fruit.
Think of an apple tree. Did you ever see it straining to bear apples? Does it have to do penance to bear fruit? No. The tree only needs soil, water and sunlight. And what are their spiritual equivalents? We know from the parable that the soil is a good and noble heart. The water comes with the washing of the Word (Ephesians 5:26). And Jesus tells us in John 8:12,
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
When we patiently spend time in His Word and His presence, the fruit grows automatically.
It’s interesting that Jesus concludes His explanation of the parable with a warning:
“Therefore, take heed how you hear” (Luke 8:18)
We should prepare to hear expectantly, knowing that the Word is transformative, and understanding that it is living and powerful. If we give His Word a chance to germinate, it will do incredible things in our lives. We must stay away from temptation, cultivate the good and noble heart He gives us, and remain in Him. When we do, as Mark 4:8 says, our fruitfulness will increase thirty-, sixty-, or a hundredfold.
God bless you.
Scripture is quoted from the NKJV.
© Copyright Gordon Robertson