All the way through the focus for Jesus is listen. The context of the passage is Jesus time after time drawing a big crowd who come to hear him, but do they really listen. When you see a large crowd in Luke’s Gospel Jesus begins to talk about what it really means to be a follower of his. He isn’t looking for the crowd numbers, the popularity and the fame rather he is looking for people who are changed by encountering the word of God made flesh. And in this passage the answer to what it means to e a follower of Jesus is that they are the ones who listen properly. He tells the parable of the sower and he finishes it by crying out in a loud voice ‘he who has ears to hear, let them hear’... listen.
As he explains this parable we see that each of the soil types he has talked about have to do with how people hear the word of God. They hear it but it doesn’t sink in it falls onto hard ground, They hear it and receive it with joy but it does not take root. They hear it and it takes root but it is choked out as by competing concerns. The good soil is those who hear it and retain it and nurture it and persevere till it produces a crop. Listen
The punch line of Jesus parable of the lamp on the lamps stand... and you could put it in modern terms and say... no one puts a hundred what bulb in a closet and then closes the door and leaves the rest of the house in darkness is a warning about being careful how we listen.. Listen
Finally that strange encounter with Jesus mother and brothers, rounds off this section of Luke, with Jesus saying those who are really his kin rally his family are those who hear his word and put it into action... Listen.
I began to wonder how those soil types expressed themselves in our lives and in our times, in my life and my time.
I did wonder how this word listen applied to me. What is the soil in my life like? How can I allow the seed of God’s word to get in remain and mature and as I looked at this passage I found some answers.