Take Care How You Hear

Reading: Luke 8:1-25


Jesus taught about the kingdom of God using parables. This method delivered the gospel in a simple package but required listeners to think for themselves and deduce the truth of each illustration. If someone heard one of these teachings, but wasn’t genuinely interested in learning, growing, or changing according to the truth, then they could see and hear but would never really “get it” (see Luke 8:10).


In today’s passage we see Jesus teach (and then explain) the parable of the sower. This is a meta-parable, that is, a parable about the parables (Mark 4:13). Just as the seed hits every kind of soil, all people can hear the word of God. But the condition of the soil—that is, the heart of the person—determines what the seed will do: bounce right off, spring up and then fall away, become choked by other pursuits, or take root and bear fruit. Jesus goes on to tell his disciples to be mindful about how they hear, as it will determine their spiritual condition (v. 18). He even goes so far as to describe those who hear and then follow through with obedient action as his true family (v. 21).


We hear a tidal wave of information every day—false and true, hateful and loving, worldly and spiritual. In all of that, we get to choose how carefully or intentionally we listen to what is being directed our way. We even have the ability to seek or avoid the things we take into our minds and hearts. So take care how you hear today. Assess the soil of your heart, and make it ready to receive what God would plant in you today. Seek out the imperishable seed of God’s truth (1 Peter 1:23), hold it fast, and patiently bear the fruit of a life built on truth.