Sexagesima Sunday
Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
February 3, 2013
Central Passage
Luke 8:4-15

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.


As with all parables, there is so much to the parable of the sower that a lifetime will not yield all the fruit from it.
But it strikes me that most often the fruit is said to be faith. Interestingly our Lord tells us what the seed is – the word of God. He tells us what the path is – those who hear but do not receive. The rocks are those who hear and receive, but only when things are going well. And the thorns are those who also hear and receive, but quickly become choked out because of this world's allurements and troubles. And finally, the good soil are those who hear and receive and hold it fast in an honest and good heart. They bear fruit with patience.
But what's the fruit? The other soils are unable to produce fruit, as Matthew and Mark record the parable. But the good soil produces fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred-fold. So what's the fruit? Is it faith? Is it good works? Perhaps it is neither.
And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind." (Gen. 1:11). The seed bears fruit according to its kind. So you might say that since the seed that is sown is the word of God, the gospel, then the fruit that it produces is the word of God, the gospel. The good soil has faith, and so clings to the gospel that is sown. And from it comes - to mix metaphors - streams of living waters. From it comes the gospel, the word of life.
But you might also say that the seed that is sown, which is the word of God, is also the sower of the seed. For the word became flesh and dwells among us. The word of God is not an abstract word, or even a compilation of words to form a sentence. This word is the eternal word of the Father, come down from heaven to save sinners from sin and dying men from death. This word is the word of God came down from heaven and took on your flesh and your sins so that He might give you His flesh and His righteousness. The word is Himself the sower and the seed. And He produces the fruit that leads to eternal life.
You are the ground. The Son of Man has sown His seed and planted it in your ear and in your heart. Sometimes you are the path, a patch of hard soil. And Satan and his demons snatch the word away so that you remain comfortless and barren. Sometimes you are the rocky soil and the word takes root, but only on the surface so that the hardships that come prevent you from hearing with ears to hear. Sometimes you are the thorny soil. You hear the word of God, the gospel of our Lord Jesus, but the temptations and allurements of this world and your own flesh prove too much, and you choke out the gospel in order to satisfy your flesh.
And sometimes you are the good soil, when you have been tilled by the Law and the once hard path has been made soft, and the once rocky heart has been cleared of stones, and the once weed-infested will has been tilled and churned. And the word of the Lord is planted in your ear and in your heart and you receive Him with a glad heart and with great joy, holding fast to Him because He is the word of promise; He is the word of life and salvation.
The seed that was sown, which is the word of God, becomes a mighty tree whose cross-shaped branches provide safety for those who gather to it. And whose shade provides comfort and rest for the weary. And according to its kind the seed that was sown produces fruit, thirty, sixty, and hundred-fold so that there is enough for all who gather to this great, life-giving tree. There is always enough, and even much left over so that the tree produces in abundance. The fruit ripens and is good for food and those who eat of it will live forever. The fruit falls upon the altar in the form of bread and wine. It falls upon your ears and gives you ears to hear. It sinks into your soul and takes root and grows that the word of the Lord endures forever.
In Nomine Iesu
+ Amen +