Luke 8:1-15 :
It happened soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God. With him were the twelve, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others; who served them from their possessions. When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable. “The farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road, and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. Other seed fell on the rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. Other fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth fruit one hundred times.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Then his disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”
He said, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience.
I remember wondering when I was younger how Jesus and the disciples could just wander around without “working” and still be able to eat and find shelter. As it turns out, people loved and believed in Jesus and what He was doing so much that they “served them from their possessions.” Never once did I hear Jesus ask for the possessions of others. He also didn’t require His disciples to pay the Rabbi Tax so that it could be distributed to the poor. What Jesus and His disciples were doing was real work as they went out preaching the Kingdom of God to the people. Giving people that God had prepared, gave freely and willingly without being forced or coerced. This is a good example for us in churches today. Jesus’ example would suggest that if we are doing God’s will, He will provide what we need to do it.
This parable is one of the most famous parables in the Bible. It’s nice because a clear definition is provided by Jesus right in the text. Parables are much harder to interpret than they first appear, I have discovered. You can read the commentary of Jesus yourself as I don’t think I need to add to it. I did want to comment on the fact that Jesus told stories so “that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'” Jesus was purposefully keeping some things as “mysteries of the Kingdom of God” and not explaining them to the people. You might ask, “Why would God do this?” And to that I answer simply, “I don’t know for sure, and I don’t want to ruin it by guessing.” There is one thing I do know from experience in this life. Not everything that I think is right is according to God’s plan. Jesus knew the plan of God and decided to follow it even if it didn’t make sense to us. Many times in this life God operates on this principle. We have to trust that His timing is best and when it is time for Him to do something, only then is it time. This goes for everything we want from God. He will follow His plan because He knows what it best for all of us. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ask God to change His plans, I believe He has planned the requests we are going to make into his plan and wants us to ask Him. I have found that many times, He responds in ways that we don’t expect at all and He ends up to be exactly right and we end up much better for it.