‘Take heed how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Luke 8: 18[/blockquote3] The background to this verse is the parable of the sower. Jesus when explaining this parable, in Mark 4:13 asked His disciples the following question: “And He said unto them, know ye not this parable? And how then will ye know all parables?”
In short He was saying that this particular parable was like a foundation to understanding all the others. So let’s take a closer look.
The Seed is Available to All
The parable talks of a sower casting seed on a particular field. Jesus identifies the seed as the Word of God and the ground types as the four types of hearts that the word is sown in. The seed as it was cast fell on all four. None was left without seed. This shows that God’s will is for all mankind to hear His word and believe in Christ. He has watched over it throughout the centuries and made sure it is available. His will for His word is revealed in 2 Peter 3:9 the last part, “….but that all should come to repentance.”
While it was the same seed that fell on all ground types, it is interesting how each reacted to it. That response would determine the seeds’ growth. The seed that fell on the wayside ground represents those that heard but did not understand the word. As a result the devil came and took what was sown in their hearts.
The seed that fell on the rocky ground represents those that receive the word with joy but have no roots in themselves. They do understand what they heard which is why they are joyous. However they have no root. When a seed is planted, the roots grow first. Their work is to take nutrients to the plant. The deeper the roots, the bigger and stronger a plant becomes. Roots represent knowledge of God’s word. When a believer does not take time to study the word for themselves and renew their mind, they are vulnerable. Sunday preaching is not enough. This is why when they experience criticism because of their new found faith in Christ, they give up.
The seed that fell on thorny ground represents those that allowed the cares and riches and pleasures of this life to chock the word. This group of believers started out well. They heard the word, understood it, studied it but at some point started to neglect it in pursuit of the “good life” and it stifled their growth.
The seed that fell on good ground have an honest and good heart. They hear the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. They understood the word, delved deeper into it, did not let criticism of their faith end their walk with God. They have a Godly perspective on riches, pleasure and are not anxious because they cast their cares on Christ. The power of God’s word is evident in their lives.
So how is this connected to the verse on taking heed how you hear?
The answer is revealed in the second part of the same verse. How you hear determines what you receive. In this case, the level of understanding and persistence determined the effectiveness of God’s word. Those who understood spent time to know it better saw it work in their lives. They got God’s word inside them despite the challenges and got to know God better and their level of faith in Him grew. God wants us to know Him but you have to decide just how well you really want to know Him, in spite of the tests and distractions.
What are your thoughts on this? Please share them with us!