We refer to the parable that Jesus tells in Luke 8 as “The Parable of the Sower.” The problem, however, is that the sower is not the point of the parable, neither is the seed. The parable is about the soil and the question: What kind of soil are you?
The point of the parable is to be the good soil, to have a “good heart” (8:15), which means to be receptive to God and to live out His will. However, we need to pay attention to the third type of bad soil—the thorns. They choked the seed as it tried to grow.
Jesus likened the thorns choking the seed trying to grow to people who are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of life; therefore, they cannot bear fruit to maturity.
Our lives are often filled with stuff or the pursuit of stuff. Stuff isn’t necessarily bad. However, it has the possibility of taking our eyes and focus off the things that truly matter.
Jesus saw life as having the potential to create worry and anxiety in us. We find ourselves concerned about what we will eat, drink, and wear (Matthew 6:25-34). And those cares can choke us from producing fruit or bringing it to maturity.
Cares, riches, and pleasures. When you take them out of the critical context of Jesus’ words, they form the core of what many in our world pursue. They are the secret to a happy and fulfilled life. How many of us want to be carefree? How many of us want the “good life”?
Jesus noted a connection between these forces and anxiety, which He connected with paganism (Matthew 6:32). Even more, they have the power to severely hinder the growth and development of the fruit God wants to produce in our lives.
The foundation of Jesus’ instruction not to worry and not to allow the thorns to choke our growing seed, is based on the vital realization that God cares for us. He takes care of us and has a responsibility to us. For that reason, and that reason alone, we should not worry.
Thorns can take over a field very quickly if we are not careful. So, too, can the cares of life invade and affect the growth of the fruit God wants in our lives. The question, then, is what kind of soil are we going to be?
Will our hearts and lives be receptive to what God is wanting to accomplish in and through us?
Father, help us not to lose sight of You or bearing the fruit You desire. May we never cease to realize that You take care of us. Amen.