…And without a parable spoke he unto them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables…’
“…who hath ears to hear, let him hear”
In our last lesson, we discovered that Jesus the Messiah possessed authority which surpassed the authority of a mere prophet. Jesus was full of the power of God. He was the very Power of God in a human body! That was why He could calm the storm, cast out demons, heal the sick and the blind, and even raise the dead to life!
We will continue in the Gospel, and hear how the Lord Jesus taught the crowd using parables (stories). Jesus often presented the truth in parables because most people who followed Him around
did not really want to know the Word of God.
What they wanted was for Jesus to heal their bodies of sickness, but they did not want Him to heal their souls of sin. Also following along behind Jesus, like a pack of hyenas, were the religious rulers who listened to Him
only to find an opportunity to accuse Him.
When they were around, Jesus would speak to the crowd in parables. He would wait until He was alone with His true followers to explain the meaning of the parables.
God wants everyone to know the truth and to be saved,
God wants us to seek after the truth, as most people seek after riches! The prophet Solomon wrote,
“If thou seekest her (the truth) as silver, and searchest for her as for hidden treasures; then thou shalt understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:4,5)
How about you?
Do you love God’s truth more than money or any other kind of wealth? Does the true Word of God occupy the most important place in your mind and heart? Perhaps you do not know the true condition of your heart before God. Then listen carefully to the Lord Jesus’
The Scripture says: (Luke 8:4-15) “And when many people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable. A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed,
some fell by the wayside;
and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And
some fell among thorns;
and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said …
Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy;
and these have no root, who for a while believe, and in time of testing fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they who, in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience”.
In this parable, we see the seed and the soil. What does the seed illustrate? What did the Lord Jesus say? He said: The seed illustrates the true Word of God. How about the soil? What does it illustrate? The soil illustrates the heart of man.
the Word of God is like good seed,
because it is alive and has power to bring forth eternal life and true blessing in your heart, in your life. However, man’s heart is like soil which can be very hard and dry. Let us think a little about this. How many kinds of soil do we see in the parable? We saw how the seed fell upon
four kinds of soil.
1) There was seed which fell upon a hard path.
2) There was that which fell on an area with many rocks.
3) There was that which fell among thorns.
4) There was also that which fell upon good soil.
First, Jesus taught that many in the world have a heart like a hard path upon which people walk. Some people’s hearts are as hard as concrete. If a seed falls on to a hard path–what will happen? Will it spring to life and bear fruit?
It cannot even begin to take root. People will just walk on it, and the birds of the air will eat it. This is what the hearts of many are like. People with hearts like the hard soil are those who do not pay attention to the Holy Scriptures and consequently they do not believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world. They only care about their own ideas or the traditions of their ancestors. The true Word of God cannot produce life in their hearts, just as a seed which falls on a hard path
cannot produce life.
The second kind of soil about which Jesus spoke had many rocks and little soil. The soil with many rocks illustrates the heart of the one who listens to the Word of God and accepts it immediately with joy, but it does not last, because the Word of God did not really take root in the person’s heart. This kind of person says he believes, but when some trial comes or he is persecuted because of the Word of Truth,
he turns away from the truth.
Many are like this. The Word of God does not have deep roots in their hearts, because they prefer the praise of man to the praise of God. Consequently, the Word of God is worthless to them, just as the seed which fell in the rocky place is worthless.
The third kind of soil was full of thorns. What happens when seed falls among thorns?
Will it bear fruit?
No, it will not! The thorns will choke it before it can bear fruit. The soil with thorns illustrates the heart of the one who listens to the Word of God, but the cares of the world, and the deception of riches and greed overwhelm him, choking the Word so that
it is unproductive.
Many children of Adam have hearts like thorny soil. They think: “Yes, one day, I will begin to look into the Holy Scriptures. When I have time, I will listen to the Word of God” However, Satan knows very well that such people will never take time to understand the Word of God. Everyday problems and needs will dominate their hearts and minds. They must work, make money, go to the market, buy, sell, study, sleep and so forth.
Is your life so full of needs and concerns that you have never yet taken time to seek after the Truth of God with your whole heart? Remember that one day
death will suddenly come and usher you into eternity.
On that day you will know what was the truth and what was a lie, but knowing the truth which you neither sought nor obeyed during your life will be of no value to you, because the time of repentance will be gone and you will be eternally lost!
The fourth kind of soil was
The seed that the farmer sowed in the good, well-cultivated soil took root, grew and produced an abundant crop so that the farmer reaped a hundred times more than he had sowed. The good soil that received the seed illustrates the one who hears the Word of God, and
retains it in an honest heart,
thus producing righteousness and eternal life. God’s Word is living and powerful and will produce eternal life and righteousness living in all those who receive it with a humble and honest heart.
That, in brief, is what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower. The Word of God is like the good seed, and our hearts are like hard soil. What must happen before seed can be sown into hard soil? One must plough it, as any farmer knows. Similarly, the heart that pleases God is a broken and contrite heart,
prepared to accept the Good Seed of the Word of God.
The heart that pleases God is the heart that receives His Word in humility and faith.
That is what the Scripture declares when it says:
“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak … put away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:19,21)
Do you have a humble heart, prepared to accept what God says in the Holy Scriptures through His prophets? Is the Word of God growing in your heart? Or do you have a heart like soil that is hard, rocky and thorny? God’s Word is Good Seed, but it will only produce life and blessing in the hearts of those who truly believe it and obey it.
Now let us read another “farmer parable” which Jesus spoke to the crowd. It is
The Scripture says: (Matthew 13:24-43) “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but, while men slept,
his enemy came
and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From where, then, hath it tares? He said unto them,
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou, then, that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and
bind them in bundles to burn them,
but gather the wheat into my barn.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which, indeed, is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown,
it is the greatest among herbs,
and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches of it.
Another parable spoke he unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables, and without a parable spoke he unto them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying,
Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil;
the harvest is the end of the age;
and the reapers are the angels. As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them who do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
In the parable of the weeds, the Lord Jesus compared the world to a field of wheat. The Sower illustrates Jesus the Messiah. The wheat which grew in the field illustrates those who are children of God because of their faith in the Good News of the Messiah. The enemy who sowed weeds among the wheat is the devil. The weeds are those who do not belong to God because they have not accepted the Good News of the Messiah.
The harvest is the Day of Judgement.
The wheat stored in the grain house illustrates those who have the right to live in the presence of God forever. However, the weeds which one gathers and burns illustrate those who will be cast into the eternal fire.
Dear friends, how about you? Are you like the wheat? Or like the weeds?
The Day of Judgement is coming! The Judge is at the door! Do you have confidence to face the Judge in the Day of Judgement? You need not fear that day if you will believe in your heart the Good News of the One who came to save you from eternal hell. Listen to what Jesus the Messiah declared concerning the Day of Judgement. He said,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24)
In the next lesson, God willing, we will continue in the Gospel and see how Jesus miraculously fed more than five thousand men with just five loaves of bread and two fish. . . .
May God give you understanding into all that you have studied today, as you remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
“He who hath ears, let him hear!” (Matt. 13:43)
We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have