Introduction: The parable of the seed among the soils has a parallel in Mark 4:1–20 = Matt. 13:1–23.
I. Parable of the seed told to all (8:4–8)
A. Setting (8:4) Different from Matthew & Mark
B. Seed by the road (8:5)
1. παρά: a position near another location or object, usually with the
implication of being alongside or close to; at, by, alongside, beside.
2. Possibly “on” the path
C. Seed on the rock (8:6) Large rock where soil has blown into a low spot
D. Seed among thorns (8:7)
E. Seed on good soil (8:8a)
F Call to hear (8:8b)
II. Function of parables explained to the disciples (8:9–10)
A. Question by the disciples (8:9)
B. Contrast between the disciples and the rest (8:10) Isaiah 6.9
1. Parables reveal
2. Parables conceal
III. Parable of the seed interpreted for the disciples (8:11–15)
A. Seed is the word of God (8:11)
2. Preaching about the Kingdom
B. Seed stolen by the devil (8:12)
1. Never has a chance to germinate. … In the battle for hearts between God
and Satan, Luke says that some of the failure to respond to the word is
the devil’s work. As a result, any opportunity for faith and salvation is
lost. For such people, hearing is the most that happens. There is no
attraction to the message or reflection on it.
2. The seed on the path represents those who do not get to respond to the
message because the devil comes and takes the seed before it can even
penetrate the ground, much less bear fruit.
C. Seed without root, fruitless in trial (8:13)
1. There is a positive response, but it is superficial [lacking in depth of
knowledge, thought, or feeling; concerned only with the obvious or
2. I believe only what I can see!
3. Trials / temptations
a. May be the result of their shallow faith
b. Possibly persecution
D. Seed choked by worry, riches, and pleasures (8:14)
1. They do not bear mature fruit
2. They produce a plant and possibly a shriveled up grain / fruit.
3. Things of the world dominate their thoughts and actions.
4. This is possible at any time during our faith journey
E. Fruitful seed growing in the good heart (8:15)
1. Nobel and good heart
2. Hold on or persevere
3. Patience ὑπομονή: capacity to continue to bear up under difficult
circumstances; endurance, being able to endure.
Conclusion: Jesus is not communicating the minimum response required to receive blessing. Rather, he is instructing the disciples on fruitfulness by pointing out obstacles that prevent such a response. Jesus is saying, “What will you do with the Word, the message of the Kingdom, when you first receive it and throughout your life?”