Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’ “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. “No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.” Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
So, let’s do a check-in today. We’re a full third of the way through the Gospel of Luke, and if you’ve been following along for the last thirteen days we’ve seen a lot. The Gospel began with angels, and the foretelling of the births of two children who would change the world. Mary sang a song. And Zechariah sang a song. The angels sang a song, as did Simeon. Then we got the one and only glimpse of Jesus as a teenager in Jerusalem, giving his parents a heart attack when they think he’s gone missing. Luke fast-forwards the story by nearly twenty years and we see Jesus’ baptism, his 40 days in the wilderness, and the beginning of his ministry. He’s taught people. He’s healed people. He nearly got himself thrown off a cliff, and he’s already in trouble with the Pharisees.
We’ve travelled a long road, and we’re not even half-way through yet. But, here’s my question: What’s this story about to YOU? Where’s it headed? It’s the story of a man who lived almost 2,000 years ago, but it is relevant to you in 2016?
I can’t answer that question for you, and neither can Jesus. He talks about this message landing on people’s hearts, and he realizes that for some it lands on rock, for others it lands among thorns – but for some… it lands on fertile rich soil. It’s a message that for some it can take root, and shoot up out of the soil and grow into something beautiful.
What’s it doing for you?