Thursday, 3 June 2021
“…As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.” –Luke 8:8
The Parable of the Sower is familiar to most of us and since Jesus explained it to the disciples, we have been content without having to explore what Jesus was really conveying through this parable. How different categories of people receive God’s Word, is what strikes us first. But a careful reading into the parable and its context points us to what Jesus stated immediately after he spoke the parable: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.” (V.8)
The Sower scattering the Seed is a picture of the Lord (and even His disciples) spreading the gospel to every possible terrain. The reception to the Word (the seed) is the four categories of ground it falls on. This is to be understood in the context of “hearing” –which is examined below:
Pointless Hearing: The seed that fell on the wayside was like the Word that fell on deaf ears!! It got no reception- it was just “trampled upon” –buried into the hard ground with no effect or it became bird feed (the devil snatched it away)! It didn’t stay long enough to cause faith to be saved. That what some people do with God’s Word- just brush it aside as if it has nothing to do with them. Pointless hearing!
Partial Hearing: The rocky ground, had a bit of soil but not enough moisture to nourish the sprouted seed. These people did hear, but they did not give their full attention to it (partial belief) and so it did not take real root in their lives. No time was spent to “water” the Word- to pay attention by meditating and personalizing it- so it withered away!! The heat of temptations just scorched them! Partial hearing!
Prejudiced Hearing: These people heard but “choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (V.14) it just crushed the Word! The distractions of these things just sapped the Word that it did not yield fruit in their lives. Their “hearing” got mingled with the other voices in the world that demanded their attention and just like worms that squirm into the young fruit and destroy the yield, their hearing did not profit them. The profits of the world got the better of them such that a fruit-bearing Christian life was not their end. Prejudiced hearing!
Perceived Hearing: Those with the noble and good heart perceive the message and persevere to do it and as Jesus says: “...keep it and bear fruit with patience.” (V.15) They heed to the Word and understand what is required of them and obey it even in difficult circumstances (being patient) so that a rich harvest of righteousness is seen in their lives.
On understanding the varied ways of hearing, what category of listeners do we fall under? Are we the kind who are quick to listen but often we haven’t perceived what the message is about? Then there are those who are keen to listen but with a prejudiced mind, so that the Word has no effect of transforming them! The right reception to the Word of God would be to listen well, perceive the essence of its meaning for our lives and obey it! Then it becomes the life-changing Word seen in the fruit of changed lives! Can we bring to mind a time we have heard the Word but not heeded it? Jesus desires that we heed His Word that it will bring the fruit of right living for Him!
Think on: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:8-9)
Listen: ‘Speak O LORD’