If you read Luke 8, you notice a pattern developing. Jesus begins with the parable of the sower and the explanation of God’s master work and objective: to find a soul that will hear and live by His Word. This is the one thing that changes everything.
We recently had a church sign or more specifically the post that held the sign, dry rot at the ground and fall over. I tried quickly to reset the post in the ground but it had been sown by the roadside and the ground was hard and embedded with stones, and it was impenetrable. Our church sign is still leaning up against the wall in the back of the church waiting to be redone. The good news is someone has promised to come with a post hole digger and make a place for resetting the sign. Until that happens, the ground is too hard for me.
Jesus describes several kinds of soil too hard or obstructed for growing good seed. Something would have to happen before it became good soil for good seed, something that allowed for the Word to be received and become the root from which everything else grows. This is why Jesus says, “Consider carefully how you listen.” (Luke 8: 18) Your only true connecting value to God’s kingdom is that you receive and hear God’s Word. Jesus even goes so far as to say, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8: 21)
Jesus leads his disciples to understand this but they did not yet have faith enough to live this way. Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” (Luke 8: 22) But a squall came up and for the disciples that changed everything not what Jesus had said. They meet a demon possessed man and to everyone but Jesus the presence of those demons changed everything. A woman has a longstanding issue with bleeding and her medical history and its incurable nature have changed everything. Jairus goes from believing in hope to being told his daughter his daughter is dead. Don’t bother Jesus, death changes everything.
For every situation someone was told or told themselves, my situation, my circumstances changes everything. I’m afraid what I am going through pushes me too far gone from grace. But, that’s a lie we’ve accepted as truth. Jesus tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8: 50) “Meanwhile all the people were wailing and mourning for her.” (Luke 8: 52) She is too far gone to be helped.
Jesus spoke differently. He knew his Word changes everything.
We need Jesus and His Word more than ever before. So many seem too far gone, whether it’s kidnappers in Chicago whose hearts have been deadened to the humanity of others or the man who is moved by a legion of voices to violence. So many seem too far gone, too locked on one side of things or the other that we can find any narrow road of escape through our trouble. I find it ironic when this Word is revealed is the day a storm has kept us from worshiping together. But, have some of us have been too far gone away from worship for a while anyway? At least this Sunday, our reason why we’re not there is a good one.
The truth is, none of us and no situation is too far gone to be remedied. What provides us with the answer in the press of all our problems and concerns? It is the one and same answer we see in Luke 8. If we can grasp His Word and hold it by faith in our hearts, nothing is too far gone for the power of Jesus to go out and change everything!