Luke 8:11-15 (CEB)
11“The parable means this: the seed is God’s word. 12The seed on the path are those who hear, but then the devil comes and steals the word from their hearts so that they won’t believe and be saved. 13The seed on the rock are those who receive the word joyfully when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while but fall away when they are tempted. 14As for the seed that fell among thorny plants, these are the ones who, as they go about their lives, are choked by the concerns, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit never matures. 15The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit.”
Jesus says that the different types of soil represent the different ways in which people receive and react to the Word of God.
Think about the path. It is compacted dirt; very hard. It seems stubborn, unwilling to change its ways. Sometimes, when you try to talk to people about God, they automatically assume you’re going to tell them they have to change everything about their lives, and they react by putting up a wall. They become hard-hearted and are too stubborn to even give God a chance.
Now, consider the rock. It has some moisture on its surface that will allow a seed to sprout, but the roots cannot penetrate its surface, so when the sun comes out, it dries up and withers away. Sometimes people allow Jesus to sort of get on their surface…they might enjoy coming to Sunday school or youth group, but they never really allow Jesus to get inside of their lives; they never develop a deeper faith. So, when something goes wrong, they feel that inner emptiness and they fall away.
Some of the seed gets to the ground and actually begins to grow, but it’s among weeds and pricker bushes, which chokes it out. The weeds and pricker bushes are our busy schedules, peer pressure, sexual temptations, and all the other things that would pull us away from God.
Then, there are the good-soil folks: open-hearted, open-minded, ready to let Jesus in, wanting a deeper relationship, free from distractions and stumbling blocks.
Jesus told us this parable to help us reflect on whether our not our hearts were properly prepared to hear and accept his Word. So, how about it? Do any of the bad-soil qualities sound familiar? What changes or adjustments might you need to be make? Meditate on that during some quiet prayer time.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.