Luke 8:15

ESV As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
NIV But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
NASB But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart, and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance.
CSB But the seed in the good ground—these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.
NLT And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
KJV But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
NKJV But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

What does Luke 8:15 mean?

Jesus finishes unpacking the meaning of the parable of the sower. A farmer spreads seed on his land; the seed is a metaphor for the Word of God. Some of it lands on the hard path where birds eat it: just as Satan's influence can keep hard hearts from accepting God's truth. Some of the seed lands on bedrock covered by a thin layer of soil and burns up in the hot sun: just as people with a shallow understanding of God's Word will not be able to withstand persecution. Some of the seed lands on soil that also has thorn bushes and the young plants are choked out: just as we are easily distracted by both the hardships and pleasures of life instead of meditating on God's Word (Luke 8:4–14).

The final soil is good, nutrient-rich dirt with plenty of access to water (Luke 8:8). Just as the farmer's seed grows easily, providing a bumper crop, God's Word penetrates honest hearts. Such people understand and follow Jesus' teaching, loving God and others and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).

Matthew 13:23 and Mark 4:20 repeat that the fruit produced is thirty to one hundred times more than what was sown. Their presentations of the parable of the sower emphasize that God's kingdom will grow despite whatever hardships His followers face. Luke's message is simpler. How we listen to God's Word will directly determine the fruit it bears in our lives and the impact we have for God's kingdom. Hard hearts, spiritual warfare, persecution, and earthly concerns will pull us away from deepening our faith, growing more sanctified, and showing the world the love of Christ.

But Jesus says, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." We get to choose how we hear God's Word. We can choose to harden our hearts, submit ourselves to Satan's lies, keep our faith shallow, and focus on the world more than God's will for us. Conversely, we can choose to be the good soil that patiently meditates on God's Word and allows the Holy Spirit to produce fruit through us.

Next, Jesus presents the parable of the lamp under a jar (Luke 8:16–18). He points out that He spreads God's Word because He wants people to hear it. In response, we need to listen carefully. If we do, we will continue to grow. If we don't, what little understanding we have will be taken away.
What is the Gospel?
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