THE WEEK OF SEXAGESIMA – SUNDAY
LESSON: LUKE 8:4-15
The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. Luke 8:12
The first group are those who have heard the Word, but do not really understand it or pay attention to it. These are not the bad people on this earth but the greatest, cleverest, holiest, and also the largest group.
Jesus is not speaking here of those who persecute the Word and do not hear it, but of those who hear it and are its pupils. They also want to be regarded among “the first,” live among us in the Christian congregation, and partake with us of Baptism and the Sacrament. But their hearts are carnal and remain so. They do not absorb the Word; it goes in one ear and out of the other. The seed on the path does not penetrate but lies on top of the path; for the path is beaten down hard by the feet of men and beasts.
Jesus says that the devil comes and take the Word out of their hearts, so that they do not believe it for their salvation. The devil exerts his power here not only by hardening their hearts with worldly ideas and living, so that they lose the Word and let it go without really understanding it or recognizing it, but the devil also sends them false teachers in place of God’s Word who tread God’s Word underfoot with the doctrine of men.
PRAYER: Give us at all times a firm understanding of your Word, O God, that we may hold it fast in firm and steadfast faith and resist all the might of Satan in his efforts to rob us of your Word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.