Once, when the Lord had come to the Sea of Galilee, a large amount of people who hadhastened from the surrounding cities gathered around Him to hear Him. He therefore mounted aship lying on the shore and used it as a pulpit. As He, as One Who knows the heart, now surveyedthe crowd hearing Him, He realized that their hearts were quite varied, and that therefore His Wordwould find a very unequal reception among them. For the Lord likewise first spoke this in a parable,by comparing Himself with a sower, His Word with disseminated seeds and the success or failure of His speech with the fruits of the sown seeds. He knew that His Word would not bring fruit amongall. Therefore He cried out not merely with a loud, penetrating, heart-moving voice to all thosepresent: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!" but also in the parable described His hearersexactly according to their different classes, that each of them would have come to the knowledge of his dangerous state of mind, repent, and could have been good land. However, this did not happenamong most, they heard and did not hear, they allowed a portrait of their state of mind to bepainted before their eyes, in no way recognized it, and the kind words of the Savior were thereforenot a blessing to them, but judgment. The path remained path, the rock remained rock, the thornyground remained thorny ground. With the parable of our text, however, Christ has depicted notonly His hearers at that time, but His hearers of all times. As it was then, so it still is. And the judgment of Christ is therefore also a very serious [judgment] for us.
Luke 8:4-15The Judgment of One Who Knows the Heart over the Hearers of the Divine Word.
What this judgment would be according to its content
. The One Who knows the heartknows that His Word will bring no fruit among many. All preaching is lost to them. But the obstaclesthat is opposed to the preached Word are different. The Savior divides them into three classes.The
of hearers He calls
What from the seed falls on the path, is lost,because etc. The devil comes for such hearers, etc.
There are the careless hearers of the divineWord, who either sleep or chat during preaching, or at least harbor strange thoughts in their hearts,who therefore do not hear the Word of the Lord their God with all due reverence, not with holyearnestness and zeal, when He presents it through His servants and can scatter it as a living seed.The world has its wicked proverbs: One must not believe everything that the priests say; hell willnot be so hot; do right and fear no one, etc.; therefore many hearts are trampled on the hard path.If they hear God's Word, then it makes no impression. it is represented by bad company, the devilblinds and hardens hearts and eats away, like a bird of prey, the seed of the saving Word. Is this notterrible?The
of hearers appears to be far better. These are attentive, eager, accept theWord quickly and with joy; there flourishes and blooms a lovely, lively Christianity therefore; theservants of the Lord have great pleasure in them. They lack only one thing:
. Their heart is