God’s Word of Life
Luke 8:1-21: Jesus travels throughout Galilee, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He and the disciples are accompanied by women who use their resources to help them. Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God by means of a parable. When members of Jesus’s family want to see him, he defines family in a way that extends beyond ancestral ties.
Women Who Accompanied Jesus
1Some time later Jesus traveled through towns and villages, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. The twelve disciples went with him, 2 and so did some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (who was called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had been driven out; 3Joanna, whose husband Chuza was an officer in Herod’s court; and Susanna, and many other women who used their own resources to help Jesus and his disciples.
The Parable of the Sower
(Matthew 13.1-9; Mark 4.1-9)
4People kept coming to Jesus from one town after another; and when a great crowd gathered, Jesus told this parable:
5“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it up. 6Some of it fell on rocky ground, and when the plants sprouted, they dried up because the soil had no moisture. 7Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up with the plants and choked them. 8And some seeds fell in good soil; the plants grew and bore grain, one hundred grains each.”
And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”
The Purpose of the Parables
(Matthew 13.10-17; Mark 4.10-12)
9His disciples asked Jesus what this parable meant, 10 and he answered, “The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God has been given to you, but to the rest it comes by means of parables, so that they may look but not see, and listen but not understand.
Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower
(Matthew 13.18-23; Mark 4.13-20)
11“This is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. 12The seeds that fell along the path stand for those who hear; but the Devil comes and takes the message away from their hearts in order to keep them from believing and being saved. 13The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who hear the message and receive it gladly. But it does not sink deep into them; they believe only for a while but when the time of testing comes, they fall away. 14The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear; but the worries and riches and pleasures of this life crowd in and choke them, and their fruit never ripens. 15The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.
A Lamp under a Bowl
16 “No one lights a lamp and covers it with a bowl or puts it under a bed. Instead, it is put on the lampstand, so that people will see the light as they come in.
17 “Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought to light.
18 “Be careful, then, how you listen; because those who have something will be given more, but whoever has nothing will have taken away from them even the little they think they have.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
(Matthew 12.46-50; Mark 3.31-35)
19Jesus’ mother and brothers came to him, but were unable to join him because of the crowd. 20Someone said to Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.”
21Jesus said to them all, “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 8:15
The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.
Today’s reading includes the parable of the sower. What is the “seed”? Where do the various “seeds” fall and what is the result? What does it mean to you to “hear the word of God and obey it”?
Lord Jesus, I want to be good soil. May your Word take root deep in my heart so that I become obedient to your Word and bear fruit. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Luke 8:22-39: Jesus calms a storm and heals a man with demons.