The Sower, Part 1—Satan Comes | Mark 4:1–4, 14–15

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. …
14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.

As we saw in the previous chapter, Jesus began teaching in parables—the parable of the sower here.  Though the image of a farmer scattering seed was common enough, the parable confuses His listeners, even His disciples (v. 10).  Though He’ll explain to them privately (vv. 13–20), the explanation of the parable isn’t for those on the outside (vv. 11–12).  As we see in these verses, even if He had explained everything in detail to everyone, Satan may come and snatch away some of the Word.

With modern technology, the Word is scattered in so many ways.  The word “broadcast” comes from the idea of a sower sending out seed, and television and radio ministries from the beginning have brought Scripture near the masses.  God also broadcasts His Word through Bibles in hotel rooms, printed tracts on the table, websites and social media, and the voice of the preacher on the street corner.  At no point in the past has the seed been scattered so far.

The devil strives to keep people from the Word.  Jesus wants people to notice it; He says “Listen!” in verse 3 and, in verse 9, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Even so, Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelievers” (2 Cor 4:4).  He even tried to take away God’s Word from Jesus by twisting it in the wilderness temptation.  He’ll use whatever distraction necessary to ensure you remain on the road to hell.

He does so because the Word gives us life.  When everyone else left Jesus, He asked if His disciples would also leave; they respond, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:68).  When we come to know the Christ of the Word, He breaks the power of Satan over us.  He says in John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  Don’t allow the enemy of your soul keep you from Scripture today—read and know the Lord there!

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