"Looking Upon Jesus As He Walked": Luke 8

Luke 8  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Luke 8 begins with the parable of the sower. Do you think you have found the secret of that parable? It is to expose man. The seed was one and the same, but the dropping of the seed here and there was to expose the character of the soil. The seed makes manifest the soil. There is not a heart that is not seen characterized in one or the other of these soils.
The first is the character of a highway; that is where the devil prevails. The second is the rock where nature prevails, and the third is thorny ground where the world prevails, while the fourth is the good ground where the Holy Spirit prevails. The business of the parable is to expose you to yourself and to make manifest the four secret influences under the power of which we are all morally moving every hour.
Consider the joy of the stony-ground hearer. It is well to rejoice, but if when I listen to the claims of God, my conscience is not reached, that is a bad symptom. If I have revolted from God, am I to return to Him without conviction of conscience? It would be an insult to Him.
The thorny-ground hearers are a grave-hearted people that weigh everything in anxious balances. They carry the balances in their pocket and try the importance of everything, but the mischief is that, as they weigh, they make the world equal in importance with Christ. Do we not often observe that calculating spirit prevailing?
In contrast with the others we get the good ground. We are not told what has made it good, but suppose we have the devil, nature and the world in the first three parables, what is the remaining influence? Nothing but the Holy Spirit. It is important to remember that the plow must come before the seed basket. What makes the heart good but He that has gone forth to plow the fallow ground and sow the seed.
God could never get a blade of grass from our hearts if He did not work Himself. The heart can never have anything for God that has not gone through the process of the plow. Those of the thorny ground talk of their farms, businesses or merchandise while those by the highway say, “Oh! let us think of these things tomorrow!” And there is that spirit that can rejoice even under a sermon.
It is happy for me when my conscience has to do with God, for then everything has to do with Him. When we have Christ, we have God. The world is full of its speculations about God, and the result of them all is thick darkness, which the wisdom of man finds impenetrable. In Christ we find nothing less than the full glory of God. Let me take the happy path of studying Jesus, for by that blessed, happy path I can study the Father.
J. G. Bellett (adapted from Notes on the Gospel of Luke)