Luke 8:4 When a great crowd gathered 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 on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. 7 Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 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!”… 11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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.
This is one of the better known parables in the gospels. There were lots of people, many thousands, who heard Jesus teach and preach and heal people and cast out demons, and so on. Yet remarkably few actually accepted his invitation to follow him as a disciple. Why? Because it meant leaving everything behind: family, friends, home, business, and so on. It’s a lot to ask, no doubt. At the time of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit arrived, there were only 120 disciples. Total. So this parable tells us why there were so few.
There were many people who started following Jesus, but eventually went back home. They returned home when the authorities put pressure on Jesus and his disciples, threatening to put them in prison or worse. Or they left to check on their properties or businesses. Or to care for their elderly family members. Or whatever. I understand why people left Jesus after a time. I may very well have done the same.
But some disciples stuck with Jesus for the long haul and bore much fruit.
I want to commend you for reading this blog post today. There are many of you who are committed to doing so each day, even when (let’s face it) the content isn’t so great. You stay with it because you expect the word of God to bless you, to encourage you, to challenge you to become the person God created you to be.
These are difficult days in which many people are running on fumes. Bone tired. You know, the kind of tired that a nap can’t fix. It’s a weariness of spirit that overwhelms. You may be tempted to give up your discipline of being in the Word every day. You may think you’re just too tired. Or you’re too busy. Or whatever.
15 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.
The key words in this verse are “patient endurance”. Being in the word is a marathon, not a sprint. As you maintain your practice, even through these difficult days, I can assure you the Lord will bear much fruit in you – and in others through you. Stay with it friends!
Lord, let it be so. Amen.