Luke 8:9

ESV And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,
NIV His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
NASB Now His disciples began asking Him what this parable meant.
CSB Then his disciples asked him, "What does this parable mean? "
NLT His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
KJV And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

What does Luke 8:9 mean?

Jesus has told the parable of the sower to a large crowd of people (Luke 8:4–8). Mark 4:10 explains that this conversation occurs a bit later, when the Twelve as well as a larger group of disciples are with Jesus, drawn away from the crowd. The disciples ask both what this parable is about as well as why Jesus uses parables at all (Matthew 13:10). Jesus starts by explaining why He uses parables before going into the interpretation (Luke 8:10).

In the parable, a sower—someone planting seeds—spreads seed on a plot of land. Some of the seed lands on the hard path where birds eat it. Some falls on a shallow layer of soil that covers bedrock. Some lands amongst a patch of thorn bushes. And some falls on good, deep soil that can nourish the plants and produce a healthy crop (Luke 8:4–8).

Jesus explains that the four types of soil represent different levels of listening. Those who don't listen well may be shallow thinkers, harassed by demonic forces, or distracted by earthly hardships and pleasures. Good listeners are like rich earth: they take God's Word and allow it to grow inside them until their lives reflect God's love and values (Luke 8:10–15).

Until now, the disciples have been present but passive members of crowds who follow and listen to Jesus. At this point, they begin to have a more active role. Soon, they will go out to heal, spread God's Word (Luke 9:1–6), and affirm Jesus' identity (Luke 9:18–20), but Jesus will challenge them to much more (Luke 9:23–27). Here, they have a quiet moment with Jesus and begin to travel with Him privately (Luke 8:22–39).
What is the Gospel?
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