October 1 – Luke 8:1-15

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Luke 8:1-15 – Parable of the Sower

Luke’s storytelling eases the transition from the home of Simon the Pharisee and his experience with the prostitute, to his itinerant ministry throughout the region. He explains where some of the financial support comes from and that there are women who travel with the disciples. Because he specifically introduces Mary from Magdala as one who was released from seven demons, many in the past of assumed that she was the prostitute who poured ointment over his feet. While this may be true, because of the depth of Luke’s writing, we could be pretty certain he would have named her during the actual story and not just as one of the women who traveled with Jesus.

The men who followed Jesus as his disciples were called by him into ministry. The women in this list follow Jesus because of the personal way in which his touch changed them. It was their response to a miraculous change in their own life that supported the work he did. Jesus was transforming culture by accepting these women into his traveling band. Because of him, women knew freedom they’d never known before – not just from bondage to sin and sickness, but these women left their homes to be with him. No other religious person accepted women as disciples, yet Jesus included them and they traveled with him to the cross.

In Luke’s version of the parable of the Sower, he breaks from Mark, who placed the emphasis on those who received the word of God. Luke tells us that the important part of the story is the word itself. The word comes from God and the most important thing for those who hear it is to take it in and then produce a crop by persevering.

 In between telling the parable and explaining the parable, Jesus points out the division occurring in the people of Israel. There are those who see and hear, but don’t see and hear. Even though God is at work miraculously in bringing change into people’s lives through his word – people still have the freedom to make choices.  When they hear the word, retain it and produce a crop, Jesus says that the crop will yield a hundred-fold more than was sown (Luke 8:8).