Luke 8:15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Luke 8:16 ¶ “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Luke 8:18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
The first two seeds were choked off and killed in pretty disturbing ways. The first was carried away by Satan, and the second was destroyed by persecution because it didn’t have deep roots.
The third seed in this parable was fruitless in an even more disturbing way. Note that Jesus doesn’t say that the plant died. He just said that the “fruit does not mature.”
When you pick a green tomato from a tomato plant, it tells that plant something. We found this out the hard way in our garden. When you pick green tomatoes (which are incredible when you bread them in Grippo’s and fry them up, by the way) the plant, for some reason, thinks that is how the fruit is supposed to be picked. I know tomato plants don’t ‘think’ but just say with me here.
That tomato plant, no matter how long the other tomatoes sit on that vine, won’t yield red tomatoes. They turn into some weird off color green-red thing. They are good for frying as green tomatoes, but your red tomatoes are shot from there on.
It gives the appearance of growing fruit, but they never mature into what they are supposed to be. At this rate, they wouldn’t produce proper seeds to grow more tomatoes next year. (Thank goodness for seed catalogs!)
The “cares and riches and pleasures of life” don’t kill Christians. In this parable, they just choke them off so that their fruit is never mature. Can you imagine? Can you imagine Jesus making the steps to maturity in Him so clear?
The NIV says it is “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things ” that choke off our fruitfulness.
This isn’t about whether the people believe in Jesus or not. The seed is the Word of God and every person in the parable believes it.
This has to do with what we love. If we desire other things, or worry about our lives, or are deceived by wealth more than our desire to love and follow Christ, we’ll just grow leaves an unripe fruits. We might be big beautiful and shady like a Bradford pear, but when the wind blows we split because we’re hollow on the inside.
Let’s take Jesus warning today and pray for honesty. I want to bear fruit that lasts, not stuff that is too sour, too small, or so infertile that it doesn’t make more seeds to grow elsewhere. Let’s offer Jesus our worries and cares and desires and watch and see what it means to be a mature and fruitful Christian.