Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:8 (NIV)
Painting by: George Wonenberg
Jesus is teaching. People come to Him from all around to hear Him and to be healed. He has His followers who are with Him. So He tells us this story. A man is planting seed for a crop. Some seed falls on the path and is trampled or snatched away. Some fall on hard rocky ground and cannot take root. And finally some lands in good fertile soil. This seed is able to find root and grow into a wonderful fruitful harvest. These seeds which found the right conditions were able to take strength and sprout into healthy life.
Those who follow Jesus want to know what He is trying to get at. So the Teacher explains. Does He tell us that some will listen to His words but never really care to understand them? Is He saying that though colorful and curious, much of what He has to say just isn´t taken to heart by some? Does Christ use parables to describe a Kingdom and realm where our imagination has trouble seeing? Would we need to come close to Jesus if we want to hear from Him where He would lead us with His words? Are His secrets reserved for those who do edge in close? Are they for those who look for and find a quiet time to be together with Him? Does He reveal wonderful truths about Heavenly themes when we set our pride aside and ask Him humbly to speak to our souls?
Jesus stops in His story after mentioning the seed which found good soil. He cries out loudly, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Is this a strange thing to say? Why would the Teacher stop teaching and draw attention to His words? Does He want us to take a moment to reflect? Is He trying to say something important to us by doing this? If so, what is it? Is it just a part of the story? Is it something that happened by chance? Could He be directing His words even to us today? Is He calling out for us to take account of how His words are falling on our ears? How do we hear them right now?
The Teacher goes on to explain to those who press close to listen. He tells us who He is talking about and our varied reactions to the Good News of God. But is it just information He is passing along? Or is there something He is saying which is getting through to the good soil in our hearts? Is there a word from Jesus that is making it past the stony hardness of our souls? Have some words managed to escape the cares of the world which would snatch them away from us? Is there a message which if sinking into our hearts right now that the worries, pleasures and riches of our society are not choking? Could Jesus be speaking directly to us? Are we hearing Him now? Do we have ears?
Dear Jesus, we know because You tell us, that not all of us will really care to listen to You. But You have also given us hope that some of us will hear what You would tell us today. Please open our ears. Let us hear You. Let what You would tell us right now find good soil in our hearts. Let it sink in deep. Let it take root. Let it start to sprout and to grow. Make Your words that You whisper to us each day spread out into a healthy and fruitful harvest. Put us in Your parable and into Your teaching today, we pray. And give us ears to forever hear You and Your sweet instructions for us!