By Bill Spaans:
Chapter eight of Luke’s gospel is jam-packed with stories demonstrating Jesus’ sovereignty over nature (He calms the storm), the spiritual realm (He cures the demon possessed man), sickness (He cures the women with the bleeding disorder) and even death (He raises Jairus’s daughter). In other words Jesus demonstrated that He is “El Shaddai”, God Almighty. Yet He also teaches that some will accept Him for who He is, but many will not. The secret to who will and who will not accept Him appears to be having a teachable and responsive heart.
In Luke 8: 10 Jesus quotes from the book of Isaiah. Chapter 5 in Isaiah provides a long discourse which speaks about how Israel was like a fertile vineyard where God spread His “seed”. But the seed did not take, so God sent His judgement and the vineyard was destroyed, as described in Isaiah 6.
Similarly in Luke 8, in the parable of the sower Jesus taught that the seed of the gospel is spread widely. However, for some the Word of God does not take root but dies before it can begin to grow, like seed falling on a hard-packed dirt path. For some the Word is like seed falling on rocky soil, it sprouts but then quickly dies for lack of nourishment. For yet others the Word is chocked out by other preoccupations, like weeds choking out good seed. But for some the Word flourishes, like seed falling on fertile soil. Such seed grows strong and bears fruit.
In Luke 8: 14 – 18 Jesus says: “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore, consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Today let us consider carefully how we listen! And let us pray for teachable and responsive hearts for ourselves and for those whom we love. And let us also commit to sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, “El Shaddai”, God Almighty. And to God be the glory!