In today’s post, I’m continuing to talk about the parable of the sower found in the Gospel of Luke. The disciples didn’t understand it when Jesus gave it to the crowds. So, when they were alone, they asked Him about it.
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.”
In His explanation of the parable, Jesus makes it clear that He’s talking about ministry. Specifically; sowing the Word. The Word He’s talking about here is the Greek word, logos. Logos refers to the Word that is spoken in preaching or teaching. For a detailed post on this truth, click here.
The Lord is giving an in-depth look at what happens when the Word is ministered. There are various groups of people who hear the Word. The effect is different in each group.
The first group Jesus deals with is what He calls those along the path.
“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.”
The question is; who are these people? The path is a ribbon of hard-packed earth. It has been trampled by generations of traffic. It’s dry, hard, and unyielding.
These are people who have absolutely no interest in hearing from God. They just happen to be in earshot of someone who’s speaking on God’s behalf. The message isn’t directed at them, but they happen to hear it.
Why is this the case? Simply put; there’s not a farmer on earth who would intentionally sow his seed on the road. That should be the case in the spiritual realm as well.
That’s why understanding the different types of people in this parable should be important to ministers of the Gospel. There should be some discernment that goes along with the ministry of the Word.
I know that there are those who feel they need to preach to everyone within earshot. But that’s just the opposite of what Jesus taught. The seed of the Word is precious. It shouldn’t be wasted on unproductive ground.
Listen to how the Lord explained it.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
That being said, what CAN we do about people in this condition? I’m in no way saying that we should write them off as unreachable.
The fact is that a road can be turned into a fruitful field – but it requires a lot of work. The Bible teaches that something needs to happen before they can receive the Word.
This is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.”
The hard packed soil of their hearts needs to be broken up. This calls for a powerful work in the spirit. That means much time spend in the presence of the Lord.
These people need to be prayed for. But I’m not talking about a simple, “God, please open their eyes. Amen.”
In order to make them ready and able to receive a Word that could save them, they require someone to intercede for them. This may include spiritual warfare to break up their hardened heart. Turning a path into good soil requires time and effort.
The church needs willing intercessors who can take on this responsibility. Are you one of them?
Questions: Who do you know that may be a person on the path? How can you pray for them?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi