Journal Luke 8 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “…(Jesus) said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed (the following took place):
- Some fell on the path, was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it (think seagulls…)”
- Some fell on the rock, and as it grew up it withered away because it had no moisture.
- Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it.
- Some fell into good soil, grew, and yielded a hundredfold.”
As (Jesus) said these things, he called out, “He who had ears to hear, let him hear.” (excerpts and paraphrase from Luke 8:4-7)
Observation: Jesus’ explanation/keys of the Parable of the Sower:
- The seed referenced is the Word of God.
- The seed on the Path is taken away by the devil so that they may not believe and be saved.
- The seed on the Rock is received with joy initially, but have no root, and loses it when challenged in life.
- The seed in the thorns is choked by the cares of the world growing up together (the thorns are stronger than the initial joy). The fruit does not mature.
- The seed in the good soil is the Word, held fast in determination and bears fruit in patience. (excerpts from Luke 8:9-15)
Analysis: He who has ears to hear, let him hear! He who has eyes to see, let him see!
In some weird way, parables are not meant to be clearly understood. “…but for others, they are in parables so that “seeing”, they may not see, and “hearing, they may not understand…” (Luke 8:10b) Even in reading the Scriptures, there may be folks who just don’t get it, despite the explanations of the Bible.
Among other areas of the Scriptures, this is a very clear reminder that pursuing Christ, claiming to be a Christian, isn’t a one and done exercise.
Simplistically boiling down being a Christian to: 1) Confessing/believing on His Name, and; 2) Being baptized, is ignoring all the rich specificity of what that means. And…underestimating, presuming on His Grace.
Who is a Christian and who isn’t? Not for anybody outside the face in the mirror to answer. I think Jesus gives this parable so that those are seeing, and hearing can exercise some self-examination. This is where Forrest’s excellent 1:28 moment on Friday can spur some action in the mirror by asking penetrating questions of myself to the Holy Spirit. Hard to do if I don’t have some foundational, factual Truth hammered in my heart. If I am not certain of (believe); If all I have is initial joy but no depth; If I let myself get choked with the cares of the world; If I have initial joy and yet don’t acknowledge my continuing sin, and let myself grow up with these thorns—then examining myself can be a scary proposition.
If I really look at this Parable, I think (while it describes various conditions of Man), it seems like I can take these conclusions: The Trinity will spur me along to love and obey His Word, in the same (parallel) effort I bring to the table pursuing Maturity.
Perhaps it boils down to this, “How dirty do I want to be to stay clean?”
PS., By the way: If I look at others and focus on their failures in following Christ in any way (even irrelevant stuff like dress, tats, etc., anything that is not blatant sin, I am on the way to mongo Legalism and not following Christ at all…If I look at myself, I am fiercely pursuing Christ. How to deal with blatant sin, is something to study and to talk with Kel and the elders about…
Prayer: Love you, Dad.