- Lesson 3 in the Connect360 unit “Jesus Storyteller: Timeless Truths From His Parables” focuses on Luke 8:1-15.
Jesus employed many agricultural metaphors, because everyone in Galilee knew about farming. We know from Jesus’ explanation the point of his parable is not seeds and dirt. Remember, a parable has a surface truth about ordinary day-to-day living (farming, seeds, etc.). The meaning underneath that layer in the parable is a spiritual one—the parable is about the word of God and the heart-attitudes of people who hear God’s word.
Unless you grew up on a farm, you may not know what the word cultivate means. It doesn’t mean to plow, plant or reap. To cultivate means to break up the surface soil and increase the aeration and moisture-retaining ability of the soil. This agricultural term has come to mean the development of any preference. Someone might say, “I have cultivated a taste for classical music.”
In order to be a good listener of God’s word and have a teachable heart, that’s something we must do. In Hosea 10:12, God says, “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” If you love the word of God and the God of the word supremely, you will be willing to cultivate a teachable attitude—by breaking up the hard soil of your heart.
Not just production but reproduction
Jesus said a teachable heart has fertile soil that produces a crop that reproduces itself a hundredfold. Good soil not only produces crops; it produces more seed that can be replanted. One way to know for certain you have a teachable heart is when you are “planting” seeds of opportunities for others to hear and study God’s word.
Find creative ways to plant seeds, from passing out Bibles, posting Scripture on social media, supporting evangelistic Bible organizations, and helping host Bible studies in your community. When you have a teachable heart, your heart is broken for those who don’t know what God’s word says. The word of God is such a powerful force. So, spread it around generously and don’t be stingy with it.
Based on a lesson by David O. Dykes, pastor emeritus of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. To learn more about GC2 Press and the Connect360 Bible study series, or to order materials, click here.