God the Gardener
Father, make my heart receptive to You and cause me to grow and bear fruit.
Read Luke 8:1-15
 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,  and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;  Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.  While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:  “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”  His disciples asked him what this parable meant.  He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’  “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.  Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.  Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.  But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the meaning of each of the types of soil?
Agricultural metaphors worked particularly well for Jesus’ audience who lived in an agrarian economy. This parable shows that when the seed of God’s Word falls upon our lives, it is the response of our hearts that matters (15). Hearts that are hard and stony won’t see any growth (5,6); hearts that are choked full of worries and distractions will have little room to grow and blossom spiritually (14). But spiritual maturity is shown in lives that develop fully and bear fruit (15). The women whom Luke highlights at the start of this passage (2,3) had heard the Good News of the kingdom of God, which Jesus proclaimed. They had been healed and had responded positively. Their hearts were like the good soil of verse 8: they had heard the Word, retained it and were living productive, fruitful lives following Jesus. In fact, they formed the support network that enabled Jesus and the 12 disciples to continue their ministry.
Go to a place where there are growing things. Pull weeds, examine soil and roots and consider Jesus’ words for You.
Teacher, may Your Word instruct me in all things and Your Spirit be my Guide.
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