The Sower Part 1 – Introduction | Luke 8:1-18

YouTube video sermon

The success of the seed is dependent on the soil, not the sower!

Introduction

Luke 8:1-18 ESV Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, (2) and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, (3) and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. (4) And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, (5) “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. (6) And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. (7) And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. (8) And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (9) And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, (10) he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ (11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (12) The ones along 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. (13) And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. (14) And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those 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. (15) As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. (16) “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. (17) For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. (18) Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

Show Title Slide

  • Whew… that was A LOT of Scripture… and don’t worry we are not going to try to digest this beak chunk of meat all at once, we are going to cut it into nice digestible bite size pieces…
    • What that means is that we are going to be spending a month or two in this section of scripture.
    • But I wanted to start by reading it in it’s entirety so you know the full context of these messages. So you have a picture of the full meaty steak before we cut it up into nice little pieces…
      • Can you tell I was hungry when I wrote this?
    • The first thing I want to point out is the introduction and the conclusion to this parable…
    • The introduction is from verses 1-3, and it talks very briefly about some ministry activities Jesus did… but I want to highlight verse one:

Luke 8:1 ESV Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,

  • Notice that Jesus did not go to JUST the cities… Not at all, scripture says that Jesus went to the cities and the villages…
    • Now, how many of y’all know God does not waist ink… He put this in here for a reason… and I propose that God is trying to Show us that Jesus made it a point to preach the Gospel EVERYWHERE… not just in the Big cities where He may get the biggest crowds and the best offerings…
    • No, he went to the Cities, yes, but also to the villages, to the towns, to the rural areas…
    • You will see why this is important in a second, but I just want to make this point that the parable of the sower is introduced with a description of Jesus preaching the Gospel everywhere…
  • The parable of the sower is then concluded from verses 16-18, let me highlight verse 16 for you…

Luke 8:16 ESV “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

  • The whole point of a lamp is to light up the darkness, the whole point of the gospel is to bring light to the darkness…
    • If we have the Gospel, we ought not hide it, amen‽
    • We ought to share it with others, we ought to spread it’s light and cast out the darkness…
  • So then we have the parable of the sower, and it is sandwhiched between: Jesus preached the Gospel everywhere and You should shine the Gospel everywhere.
    • This is very important, because as we talk about this parable in detail you may feel like it is discouraging you from sharing the gospel with certain kinds of people…
    • This could not be further from the truth!
      • The truth is that we should share the gospel with EVERYONE ALWAYS and that we just need to understand and be prepared for people to reject it!
      • With that, let’s pray

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One – The Purpose of Parables, You are Special

  • I want to tell you this morning exactly how special you are!
    • And I don’t mean special like “Don’t worry about what they other kids say about you Jimmy, Mommy thinks your Special”
    • No, I am not talking about that kind of special… I really mean that as Christians, sitting in this church, who are about to have the word of God expounded and explained to them… you are special!
  • See, look at verse 4 here…

Luke 8:4 ESV And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable,

  • So there was a great crowd of people, not just a handful… more than a couple dozen, but more likely in the hundreds if not thousands of people who came out to hear Jesus speak.
    • And Jesus chose to speak to them in a Parable… a story, a metaphor, a word picture…
    • But I will note to you that Jesus DID NOT explain the parable to the crowd of people…
    • The great crowd of people went away having no idea what Jesus was saying…
      • I am sure there were some who were scratching their head… “What‽ What on earth is that Jesus guy talking about?”
      • There were probably others who thought to high of themselves and put on a show of understanding “Oh yes, so deep Jesus… so profound…. Yes, we are all sowers in life aren’t we…” But really they had no idea what Jesus was saying…
      • Others still probably took it the wrong way “See I told you those roman soldiers were all going to hell! Only farmers get to go to heaven, that’s what Jesus meant about the sower!”
    • But again, the reality is that Jesus chose NOT to explain the parable to the great crowd.
  • But to His disciples, the twelve, He explained it.

Luke 8:9-10 ESV And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, (10) he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’

  • Do you see what Jesus said? He says to the 12, not the great crowd… He says “To you, to you special few, I am going to explain what I meant…”
  • Jesus says “In fact, I spoke in parables to the crowd so that they would see me teach and hear me teach and maybe feel better about themselves… but that they would not understand… because the secrets of God are not for them, they are for YOU!”
  • Why would Jesus say that? Why would Jesus do that?
    • Because the Disciples ACTUALLY CARED! They are the only ones who thought “Hey I don’t get it Jesus” and so they did something crazy and they ASKED HIM.
  • If you are in this church as a Christian today it is as if you are saying “Look, the secrets of God have been given to me, but it is not just enough to have them, I want to understand them, I want to live them”
    • So you come to a place like a church where the word of God is preached and teached(sic) so that you can have a greater understanding of the word of God as given by the Holy Spirit and so with that understanding you can become more Christ Like.
  • How many people know non-Christians who say things like “I have read the Bible and it’s full of Contradictions” or “I have studied Christianity and now I know God isn’t real” or some other kind of nonsense like that…
    • You see these are people who want to “hear” Jesus and they want to “see” Jesus… but they don’t really care about him, they have already made up their mind… and as such God does not reveal himself to them…

Luke 8:10 ESV he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’

1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  • The message of the Cross is FOOLISHNESS to those who don’t believe…
    • But you are here today because it is not foolishness to you…
    • Like the disciples you desire to understand and know God… The disciples had Jesus to teach them, but when Jesus left earth He sent us another helper, another teacher…

John 16:7 ESV Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:13 ESV When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

  • You are special because you truly desire the wisdom of God and He has granted it to you!
    • You are special because you have drawn near to God and in response God has drawn near to you! Amen‽
  • Listen, hear me church, if you ever hear a sermon here that convicts you, that encourages you, that changes you from glory to glory… if you hear a sermon that speaks directly to you, to your situation, to your spirit…
    • Know that it is not ME as a preacher speaking to you, nor is it anything that I do or am good at that speaks to you…
    • It is the Holy Spirit, He is the Teacher He is the Helper… my job as pastor is NOT to be a preacher, but to be a conduit of the Holy Spirit.
  • And because the Holy Spirit is alive and active in this church and in your life YOU ARE SPECIAL! Amen‽

Point Two – The Heart of Man is Soil for God’s Word

Luke 8:11 ESV Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

  • The word of God, the Gospel of Christ, is seed that needs to be planted.
    • A seed not planted is not worth much… but a seed planted in good soil can produce hundreds of more seeds and fruit to enjoy.
  • The Word of God is a powerful thing. It was God’s word that brought the universe, the stars and the planets and life into existence.
  • John chapter 1 says that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word became flesh and came to earth to be sacrificed to us…
  • THE WORD OF GOD IS POWERFUL!
  • But as far as MAN is concerned the word of God is WORTHLESS unless it is planted in soil… and Jesus says that Soil is man’s heart, his spirit, his whole being.
    • The Word needs to be planted inside of a man for it to be beneficial to Him.
    • Then the Word must take root and grow, and be well fed and watered… then it will produce fruit and more seed.
  • You guy’s following me so far?
  • Now here is what I want you to take away from this point this morning… THE SUCCESS OF THE SEED IS DEPENDENT ON THE SOIL NOT ON THE SOWER.
    • Let me say that again: The success of the seed is dependent on the soil, not the sower.
  • If you are a Christian, then you have seed to sow…
  • But sometimes we are so afraid of the seed not taking root that we refuse to sow it!
    • That’s a lie from the devil… like it is some how your job to make sure the seed takes root…
  • No, your job is to SOW the seed, to spread the gospel, to preach the good news, to share your testimony…
    • And as the seed falls it might fall on some bad soil, and some might fall on some good soil… some might take root and some might not…
    • BUT NO SEED WILL TAKE ROOT IF YOU NEVER SPREAD IT! IF YOU NEVER SOW IT! AMEN‽
  • Now, we are going to talk about plowing the field, and working the soil in certain situations as we go throw this parable… but don’t for a minute think that you should not be sharing the gospel. SPREAD THE SEED CHURCH! Let it sink into the hearts of men and women… if it fails to take root you have lost nothing… but if takes root you have gained an eternal brother or sister, amen‽

Point Three – Let Him with Ears Hear!

Luke 8:8b ESV … As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  • Point three this morning, let HIM WITH EARS HEAR!
    • Do we have any corn farmers in here? Because corn farmers really need to this point… because they have lot’s of ears…
    • Sorry, little farm humor for ya! Fitting for Iowa…
  • But really, here is what you need to understand… you are here right now. You are listening…
    • BUT ARE YOU HEARING?
    • Or do you come to church Sunday after Sunday and it just goes in one ear and out the other?
  • Look the difference between the disciples and the great crowed gathered is that the Disciples CARED about what Jesus was saying, they WANTED to understand. They engaged! They asked questions. They thoughtfully considered all their Great Teacher was telling them.
  • Let him with ears to hear: hear!
  • Engage, focus, listen, study, ask questions… seriously, if you don’t understand something in a sermon or something in scripture… ASK! Ask me on the way out… call me on Tuesday morning… ask other people in the church… actually care enough about Christ to want to understand what He is saying and teaching.
  • And not only that, but DO SOMETHING about it!
    • It’s not enough to just hear the word of God, you have to act on it… because quite honestly if you are not acting on what God is telling you then you are not really listening…
      • You know who doesn’t listen? My two year old Hannah… she is the most stubborn little pumpkin ever…
      • Don’t get me wrong… she hears… and she understands… but she doesn’t listen!
      • “Hannah stop pinching your brother… Hannah STOP PINCHING YOUR BROTHER… HANNAH IF YOU DON’T STOP YOU ARE GOING TO GET A POW POW… Alright… *Spank*”
        • If you don’t want a spanking from God then please do not stop at listening and understanding… you have to ACT!

James 1:21-25 ESV Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (25) But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Conclusion

  • Now in the next few weeks we are going to look at each of the kinds of soil and talk about those kinds of people, how we can help, if we should help, and what it all means for us…
  • But for now I just want to encourage you to listen to the word of God, hear it, understand it, and do it. Amen‽

Gospel Presentation

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