Home  Library  Donate

Luke 8:1-15

Sunday Morning Bible Study

September 6, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

In two weeks we will be having our annual Baptism extravaganza.  We will start with lunch at 12:30pm.  There will be a bounce house and giant waterslide for the kids.  We will start the Baptism around 1:15. 

If you have not been baptized since you became a believer, come and be baptized.

If you want to help us pull this extravaganza off, take the flyer and put your name and phone number on it and put it in the Agape Box.

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing his book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry has begun, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

8:1-3 Certain Women

:1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him,

:1 afterwardkathexes (“according to” + “the next following”) – one after another, successively, in order. 

:1 it came to pass, afterward

Luke is giving us a timeline.  These aren’t randomly placed stories, but accounts given in order.

These events took place immediately after the events of chapter 7, when Jesus had dinner at Simon’s house, and was anointed with oil by the “sinner woman”.

:1 he went throughdiodeuo (“through” + “to journey”)  – to pass or travel through; to travel here and there, go about

:1 preachingkerusso – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done; used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers

:1 bringing the glad tidingseuaggelizo – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings

:1 He went through every city and village, preaching

This is Jesus’ second “tour” of the Galilee synagogues.

The first tour of Galilee took place before Jesus had called the twelve to be His apostles when He had first begun His ministry. (Luke 4:43-44)
(Luke 4:43–44 NKJV) —43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” 44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

This time the twelve are with Him.

:2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,

:3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

:2 had been healedtherapeuo – to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health. 

The verb is a “perfect” tense, meaning that the healing took place in the past, with the results continuing on into the present.  These women weren’t healed on this “tour” of Galilee, they had already been healed.

This word is actually used quite a few times in relation to demonic spirits.

(Matthew 4:24 NKJV) —24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
(Matthew 12:22 NKJV) —22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
(Matthew 17:18 NKJV) —18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
(Mark 6:13 NKJV) —13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
(Luke 6:18 NKJV) —18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.
(Luke 7:21 NKJV) —21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

It seems that demonic spirits can have a hand in illness.

:2 evilponeros – full of labors, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition

:2 infirmitiesastheneia – want of strength, weakness, infirmity

:2 Mary called Magdalene

 Magdalene – “a tower”

There were many different gals named “Mary”.

“Magdalene” means she came from the town of Magdala, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Here’s a news story from this year …
Video:  CNN – Ruins at Magdala

The only other time she is mentioned in the gospels is at the end of Jesus’ life.

She was there when He was crucified (Mat. 27:55-56)
(Matthew 27:55–56 NKJV) —55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
She was there at the tomb when He was buried. (Mark 15:47)
(Mark 15:47 NKJV) And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.
She went to the tomb on Sunday morning, and when she found it empty, told the disciples.  After Peter and John checked it out and left, Jesus appeared to her. 
She was the first person that Jesus appeared to after His resurrection (John 20:11-18)
(John 20:11–18 NKJV) —11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

We were reminded on Thursday night in Lee Strobel’s “Case for Christ” that if you were to make up a story like the resurrection, you certainly wouldn’t chose a woman to be the first one to see Him risen.  And you certainly wouldn’t chose a woman who had a past like Mary’s, someone who had once been demon possessed.

Yet that’s what Jesus did.

:2 demonsdaimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

:2 out … had comeexerchomai – to go or come forth of

:3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward

Joanna’s name means “Yahweh is gracious”.

It’s the feminine form of the name “John”.

She was married to a fellow who was a top manager in Herod Antipas’ palace.

Herod Antipas was a godless, immoral man.
Yet here is a woman who lived under his roof, who was close to Jesus.

Like Mary, Joanna was at the empty tomb (Luke 24:10)

The only other time we see Joanna mentioned is at the tomb of Jesus on that Sunday morning.  She was one of the gals who had gone to the tomb to bring fresh spices for the body when they found the tomb empty. (Luke 24:10)

(Luke 24:10 NKJV) —10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.

:3 Susanna

Her name means “lily”.

We think she cried a lot because someone once wrote …

Video:  O Susanna

Actually, this is the only time her name is mentioned in Scripture.

:3 certain women


Pure relationships

There have always been people who have claimed all sorts of things about people in the Bible.
I have heard these amazing claims throughout my entire life.
From time to time you will hear people claim that Jesus was married, and in some instances to more than one wife.
You will also hear some of these same people claim that David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers because David had said,

(2 Samuel 1:26 NKJV) I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, Surpassing the love of women.

Is it possible for a man to have a close, loving relationship with another man and it not be sexual?

Is it possible that David had not developed a healthy relationship with a woman to that point?

You will hear similar innuendoes about homosexuality with Jesus and His disciples.
What is really happening is that people are trying to look at the Bible through the lens of their own twisted minds.
Paul wrote,

(Titus 1:15 NKJV) To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.

If you have an impure mind, you will see impurity everywhere.

We live in a very polluted society.  We are absolutely bombarded with sexual references and innuendoes.
I would dare say that it’s not just unbelievers who see the possibility of sexual impurity in these passages, but some of us believers have thought such things as well.

Isaiah saw it in himself,

(Isaiah 6:5b NKJV) …Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…

There is not a shred of solid evidence from the first century that Jesus’ relationships with His disciples and these women were anything but pure and holy.

:3 who provided for Him from their substance

provided fordiakoneo – to be a servant, to serve, wait upon

substanceuparchonta – possessions, goods, wealth, property

participle fromuparcho – to begin below, to make a beginning; to come forth, hence to be there, be ready, be at hand; to be


Saved to serve

These women, just like the men, have been touched and transformed by Jesus.
He has changed their lives.
They have decided to now serve Jesus.
It’s the same for us, beloved.
When Jesus has changed your life, you ought to find out how you can serve Him.
These women not only “served” Jesus with their actions, but they “served” with their “substance”, in learning to give financially to the work that was being done.
We believe as a church that a mark of maturity in the believer is measured by how you and I are learning to serve Jesus.
It might be in how you relate to your family.

Choosing to serve and meet their needs, even when they gripe or complain.

It might be doing something in your neighborhood.

Helping an elderly neighbor.

It might be in how you related to others at work.

Choosing to serve your fellow employees as a way of showing the love of Jesus to them.

It might be doing something at church.

Being a part of the prayer team on Sunday mornings – praying in the back room while church is going on.

It might be in helping in the Children’s Ministry – teaching the children about Jesus.

It might be in something simple like helping Lisa with next week’s Baptism extravaganza.

We need many hands to help pull off the setup, food service, and cleanup.

8:4-15 The Sower and the Seed

:4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:

:4 He spoke by a parable

A parable is a short story that teaches some spiritual truth.

Jesus told stories that His audience could relate to, using things that were common to their current culture to teach a lesson.

It’s one of the reasons I use video clips or tell little stories myself.

It is a way of teaching truth that some of us can relate to.

The story Jesus is going to tell is about a farmer, a “sower” of seeds.  The man is going to plant seeds in his field.

:5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.

:5 sower … sowspeiro – to sow, scatter, seed

:5 seedsporos – a sowing; seed (used in sowing)

:5 fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to be thrust down

:5 the waysidehodos – properly; a way; a travelled way, road; a travellers way, journey, travelling

:5 trampled downkatapateo (“down” + “tread”) – to tread down, trample under foot, to trample on

:5 birdspeteinon – flying, winged; flying or winged animals, birds; the birds of the heaven, i.e. flying in the heaven (air)

:5 airouranos – heaven, the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it; the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced; the sidereal or starry heavens; the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

:5 devouredkatesthio (“down” + “eat”) – to consume by eating, to eat up, devour

:6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.

:6 someheteros – the other, another, other (another of a different kind)

:6 fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to be thrust down

:6 rockpetra – a rock, cliff or ledge

:6 sprang upphuo – to beget, bring forth, produce; to be born, to spring up, to grow; to shoot forth, spring up

:6 withered awayxeraino – to make dry, dry up, wither; to become dry, to be dry, be withered; to waste away, pine away, i.e. a withered hand

:6 lacked – literally, “did not have

:6 moisturehikmas – moisture.  This is the only place this word is used in the NT.

Farmers in these ancient days didn’t have irrigation for their fields, they depended on the rain.  The rocky soil didn’t let the rain water penetrate too deep, and so there was less moisture in that soil.

The seeds on the rocky soil died much like some of our lawns that haven’t been watered during the drought.

:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.

:7 someheteros – the other, another, other  (another of a different kind)

:7 fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to be thrust down

:7 amongmesos – middle; the midst; in the midst of, amongst

:7 thornsakantha – thorn, bramble; bush, brier, a thorny plant

:7 sprang up withsumphuo (“with” + “spring up”) – to cause to grow together; to grow together, grow with

:7 chokedapopnigo – to choke; to suffocate with water, drown

As these seeds started to sprout and grow, so did the thorns.

:8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

:8 otherheteros – the other, another, other  (another of a different kind)

:8 fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to be thrust down

:8 groundge – arable land; the ground, the earth as a standing place

:8 goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honourable

:8 sprang upphuo – to beget, bring forth, produce; to be born, to spring up, to grow; to shoot forth, spring up

:8 yieldedpoieo – to make; to do

:8 cropkarpos – fruit; that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result

:8 hundredfoldhekatontaplasion – hundredfold, a hundred times as much

:8 criedphoneo – to sound, emit a sound, to speak; of men: to cry, cry out, cry aloud, speak with a loud voice; to call, to call one’s self, either by one’s own voice or though another; to send for, summon; to address, accost, call by a name

:8 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

If you can hear these words, then pay attention to the lesson they are teaching.

:9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

:10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’

:10 mysteriesmusterion – hidden thing, secret, mystery

:10 seeing … seeblepo – to see, discern, of the bodily eye; metaph. to see with the mind’s eye; to have (the power of) understanding; to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand; to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine

:10 hearingakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said; to hear something; to comprehend, to understand

:10 understandsuniemi – to set or bring together; to put (as it were) the perception with the thing perceived; to set or join together in the mind; i.e. to understand: the man of understanding

:10 Seeing they may not see

Jesus is quoting from:

(Isaiah 6:9 NKJV) And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

The point is this:  Those who have hard hearts towards the things of God are not going to get this and will just blow it off.

We see this all the time in the world today when non-believers read the same text we read and come up with the strangest, goofiest ideas.

Those who want to understand are going to ask questions and find out what Jesus is talking about, just like the disciples.

The disciples have asked Jesus to explain.

:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

The story is about what kind of things will result when God’s word is planted in different people’s hearts.

:11 wordlogos – word

:12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

:12 the waysidehodos – a way; a travelled way, road

:12 devildiabolos – prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely; devil; Satan the prince of the demons

:12 takes awayairo – to raise up, elevate, lift up; to raise from the ground, take up: stones; to bear away what has been raised, carry off; to move from its place; to take away from another what is his or what is committed to him, to take by force

:12 wordlogos – word

:12 heartskardia – the heart; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours; of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence; of the will and character

:12 believepisteuo – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

:12 be savedsozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

:12 the ones who hear

Jesus has just challenged His listeners,

(Luke 8:8b NKJV) ……“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Now He is going to talk about how people respond to what they hear.

:12 the devil comes and takes away the word


Ripped off

The person whose heart is like the roadside is the person where the seed never gets a chance to sprout.
It never stays longs enough to produce anything.
There are people who never seem to “get it” when you share the gospel.  The enemy has stolen the seed.
One of the ways the enemy steals the seed is through the insidious lies the world has told us:
“The Bible is just a bunch of made-up stories”
“Jesus was not a real person”
“We are all products of evolution, there is no God who created everything”
When a person has swallowed some of these lies, it’s easy for them to just blow it off when they hear that God loved them so much that He gave His Son to die for them.

:13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

:13 rockpetra – a rock, cliff or ledge

:13 hearakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear; to attend to, consider what is or has been said; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.  Aorist active subjunctive.

:13 joychara – joy, gladness

:13 receivedechomai – to take with the hand; to take up, receive

:13 rootrhiza – a root

:13 whilekairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time; a fixed and definite time

:13 believepisteuo – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

:13 timekairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time; a fixed and definite time

:13 fall awayaphistemi – cause to withdraw; to depart from anyone; to desert, become faithless

:13 these have no root


Shallow Believers

The picture of “rocky soil” is the idea that there’s a little layer of dirt on top of bedrock.
The seeds that land on this soil might actually be able to germinate and produce a plant, but the roots aren’t going to go very deep because of the rocks.
Because the roots aren’t deep, when a dry wind blows, they will wither and die.
David painted a similar picture,
(Psalm 1:1-6 NKJV) —1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The person who delights in God’s Word will have roots that go deep and find that river of life.

Jesus described the “hot winds” that can cause a person to “fall away” as “temptation”.
temptationpeirasmos – trial, proving; the trial of man’s integrity; an enticement to sin, temptation

The hot winds that can wither a plant may be a time when you are tempted to sin.

The hot winds may be a time when you go through great difficulty.

The way to survive the hot winds is to develop deep roots where you can find water.
How deep will you allow the Word of God to go in your heart?
Some people like to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will obey.

They don’t have any problem when the Bible tells them not to steal.

They get quite angry when somebody steals something that belongs to them.

They don’t have any problem when the Bible tells them not to commit adultery because they would be furious if their spouse ever cheated on them.

But then when Jesus says,

(Matthew 5: 28 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

It’s when they hear this that they start making excuses.

They ask the question, “Just what does it mean to look on a woman with lust???”

They might say, “Well who doesn’t look on a woman with lust!”

And they never allow the Word of God to go deeper than the surface of their life.

The shallow person is the one that says, “I’ve tried Christianity and it didn’t work for me”.

:14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

:14 thornsakantha – thorn, bramble; bush, brier, a thorny plant

:14 heardakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear; to attend to, consider what is or has been said; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.  Aorist participle.

:14 go outporeuomai – to lead over, carry over, transfer; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey; to lead or order one’s life

:14 are chokedsumpnigo – to choke utterly; metaph. the seed of the divine word sown in the mind; to press round or throng one so as almost to suffocate him

:14 go out and are choked


Stunted growth

bring no fruit to maturitytelesphoreo (“mature” + “to carry”) -– to bring to maturity
The word “fruit” is not in the text, but is implied.
The picture is that the plants never grow up enough to produce an actual crop because the weeds or thorns choke them.
Jesus actually lists three kinds of weeds that will stunt our growth as believers and keep us from bearing fruit in our lives.
The NIV translates the word “worries” for “cares”.  We might call it anxiety.
caresmerimna – care, anxiety

The word means to have a “divided” heart. 

You bounce back and forth between what you worry about.

You are constantly worrying over things.

Anxiety is a “fear” over what might happen.

Jesus said,

(Matthew 6:31–34 NKJV) —31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I believe there are folks who can get caught in an endless loop of anxiety, where it’s hard to shut down anxiety attacks and it may be necessary to seek medical help and take advantage of anti-anxiety medications.
What I believe we ALL need to do is to learn how to trust God more.

David wrote,

(Psalm 56:3 NKJV) Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 12:2a NKJV) Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid

Paul wrote that we can learn to trust God through prayer.

(Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV) —6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We need to learn to pray.

Video:  War Room – The Heart of the Movie

If you haven’t seen the movie “War Room” yet, you ought to see it.  It’s about the power of prayer.

richesploutos – riches, wealth; abundance of external possessions
It’s not wrong to have possessions.

It’s not wrong to be wealthy.

The problem comes when your possessions possess you.

Even poor people can get caught in living to “get more” in life.

The problem comes when you are never satisfied with what you already have.

Paul gives us a picture of maturity when he wrote about his own financial needs:

(Philippians 4:11–13 NASB95) —11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Jesus wrote to the wealthy church at Laodicea about a problem He had with them.  They had become “lukewarm” (Rev. 3:16-17)

Video:  War Room – Lukewarm Coffee

Your love of things will make you lukewarm.

(Revelation 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

Evil pleasures
pleasureshedone (“hedonism”) – pleasure; desires for pleasure

“hedonism” is defined as “the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence”

Hedonism is the philosophy that the best thing that you can do for yourself is to live for pleasure.

of lifebios (“biology”) – life; human existence

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men were created equal and that all men deserved the rights of,

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

In America, there are people who have taken that last phrase and decided that this gives them the license to pursue every kind of wicked “pleasure” in the name of “pursuing happiness”.

That is NOT what that founding fathers meant.

God is not opposed to pleasure.

David wrote,

(Psalm 16:11 NKJV) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Some kinds of pleasure aren’t particularly dangerous, but just messy.

Video:  Peanut Butter Baby

What God is concerned about are the things that promise “pleasure”, and might give us pleasure for a moment, but actually result in spiritual death.

Solomon wrote about the foolish young man who allowed himself to be tempted by a beautiful married woman.

(Proverbs 7:22–23 NLT) —22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.

If your life becomes defined by anxiety, possessions, or lustful pleasure, you are not going to mature the way God wants you to.
You will not bear the kind of fruit God wants to produce in your life.
We talked last week about needing to go deeper in our lives, allowing God to work in more than just outward actions, but also in our thoughts and motives.
If you are struggling with any of these areas, bring them to God.

Recognize them for what they are – sin.

Ask God for forgiveness.

Receive the grace and forgiveness that God wants to pour out on you.

Clear out the thorns.

:15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

When you sow seed in the lives of people by sharing God’s Word with them, don’t be too surprised if they don’t become the next Greg Laurie, at least not immediately.

Of the four kinds of soils, three of them had problems, and only one was “good ground”.

:15 the good ground

Bearing fruit and harvesting a great crop is the goal of every farmer.

This is why he sows his seed in the first place.

God wants your life to produce fruit.  Jesus said,

(John 15:8 NKJV) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Bearing fruit might be bringing others to Christ.
It might be spiritual fruit …
(Galatians 5:22–23 NLT) —22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

:15 goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

:15 groundge – arable land; the ground, the earth as a standing place

:15 noblekalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

:15 goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honourable

:15 heardakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear; to attend to, consider what is or has been said; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.  Aorist participle.

:15 keepkatecho – to hold back, detain, retain; to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of; to get possession of, take

:15 bear fruitkarpophoreo – to bear fruit; to bear, bring forth, deeds; to bear fruit of one’s self

I’d like to point out a few farming tips that Jesus hints at in this verse.  Here’s some keys to producing fruit in your life.


Cultivate your heart

Jesus talked about the seed landing on a “noble and good” heart.
I don’t think that He meant that God only uses “good” people.
He meant that you must continue to cultivate the ground you are planting the seed in – your heart.
If you have a “rocky” or “shallow” heart, then learn to ask God to break up the ground so the seed can go deeper into your life.
Even backyard gardeners know they have to keep the weeds under control.
If anxiety is your issue, then learn to pray.  Work at trusting God with little things so you can eventually trust Him with big things.
If your life is wrapped up in getting “stuff”, then make your next priority to learn to be “content” with what God has given you.  Learn to say “thanks” for what you do have instead of working for that next “thing”.
If you are addicted to evil “pleasures”, you have a difficult but not impossible road ahead.

I know people who can help you, but you will need to want to actually change.


Keep going

Jesus hinted at another key trait to bearing fruit – patience.
patiencehupomone (“under” + “to remain”) – steadfastness, constancy, endurance

In the New Testament this is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate choice to follow God by even the greatest difficulties.

It’s the person who falls, but gets up again.
Video: Heather Dorniden’s Race
Feel like quitting?  Don’t.  Paul wrote,
(Galatians 6:9 NKJV) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
(Theodore Roosevelt once said,)
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
The writer to Hebrews said,
(Hebrews 12:1–3 NLT) —1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.