News & Events

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

Sexagesima Sunday, February 4, 2024

Download Printable

Sexagesima Sunday, February 4, 2024

“The seed is the Word of God” (vs. 11). Jesus presents to us the vulnerability of God’s Word:  it is trampled, devoured, withered, and choked out (vs. 5). Jesus, himself the Word of God, possessed this vulnerability: he was persecuted, convicted, condemned, scourged, and crucified. All these impositions upon the vulnerable Word of God come from its hearers who are listening also to a different word. Another voice is speaking into their ears. Satan, his minions, and his lies have claimed those hearers and bound them into thinking they do have a choice. They can hear God’s Word with obedience flowing spontaneously out of that hearing, or they can hear God’s Word and consider whether they will obey it. In the first instance, God’s Word is the active agent. In the second instance, the human will is the active agent.

For those who hear the Word of God and forth with are set free from their bondage to sin, death, and the power of the devil… these hearers are the good soil. These hearers are vulnerable to that Word of God. The Word of God is the active agent of their lives, not their own human will. They now have the heart of Jesus Christ; it is an honest and good heart (vs. 15). They can wait patiently for that Word—the Lord Jesus—to bear fruit. Good soil does not know that it is good soil. Good soil simply hears the Word and holds it fast. In other words, good soil “lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Dt. 8:3).

You… you who hear the Word of God need Satan, his minions, and his lies silenced. This silencing takes place when your preacher declares to you, “In the name of Jesus Christ, by his authority, and in his stead, I forgive you all your sin.” This absolution enthrones Jesus as Lord of your conscience and silences Satan and his ilk.

Table Talk: Discuss what it means to say that “Good soil does not know that it is good soil.

Pray: Heavenly Father, keep sending me a preacher with absolution on her lips that my bondage to sin would be broken. Amen

Luke 8:4-15

4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5 A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. As he said these things, he called out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 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.