The Gospel of Luke | Kingdom Secrets | Luke 8.4-10 |

by | Apr 16, 2021

“While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’[a]” Luke 8.4-10

This is perhaps one of Jesus’ most famous parables. It’s in several of the gospels and is one of the few in which he offers a parable and the explanation directly following. Maybe it’s why this is so popular!

The parable itself was given to a “large crowd” who had gathered and were “coming to Jesus from town after town.” The explanation is only given to the disciples and after the fact, when the crowd had dispersed. I am glad we get to hear both from Jesus, within the same context, as did the disciples.

You know the parable well. It’s about a farmer sowing seed, with four different outcomes as it fell upon four different types of ground/soil. The first was a well worn path, the second fell on rocky soil , then thorny soil, then good soil. Only the seed falling on good soil produced a crop and yielded a harvest.

And that’s the gist of it. Jesus doesn’t offer the explanation immediately after this parable. I’m sure people went away pondering the magnificent and mysterious words of Jesus. But Jesus turns to his disciples, before he explains his teaching, and says, “The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God has been given to you….but to others I speak in parables so that, and then he quotes Isaiah 6.9 — “though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.”

Now I wish Jesus had explained THAT portion of his teaching to us. The way he speaks, teaches and shares is often mysterious. But to the disciples, and we can apply this to all who call upon the name of the Lord — “the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God has been given….” to “us” by the power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus who lives in us.

This entry today is less about the results of the four soils, which I will discuss later, and more on the meaning of “the knowledge of the secrets of the K.O.G.” This is pure, Godly truth which is revealed to those who follow. Jesus masks this truth in parabolic instruction, but for those who believe, who seek, who have faith— they will discover the meaning of these secrets and know the truth of God.

I’m sure this is a way super simple explanation of a deeper spiritual truth, but the promise from Jesus is this — “follow me and you will know God’s truth, which ultimately is me” (My paraphrase).

Isn’t it a joy to know these kingdom secrets? To be united with God, and with others, through the power of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t it beautiful to know Christ? The Holy Spirit brings a unity in the gospel — those who know Christ know this to be true. We speak the same language. Language of the Spirit and knowledge of the Kingdom of God.

But withholding this from others was never Jesus’ intention. He calls us to share the good news of the kingdom. Good news that salvation is found in no one else. That he suffered, was buried, and rose again so we might have life today and life to come.

Won’t you lean into the Lord today? Share his “secrets” with all you meet so the word might know the power of his love, grace and forgiveness both now and forever.

“O Lord God, you are good. Come now and fill our hearts with your power. Help those who have not yet received your word into their hearts to do so today. Many people come to mind. Many who have been running, hiding, dodging your grace. Break through their barriers, replace their walls of blindness with a willingness to see. I love you Lord and praise you name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen