“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” (Luke 8:15).
TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO GOD AND THEN REMAIN FAITHFUL TO HIM ALWAYS, THERE IS A CERTAIN KIND OF “HEART” WE MUST HAVE. This heart is one that is described in the NKJV rendering of Luke 8:15 as “noble and good.” What kind of mind or character is indicated by these words?
The word “noble” in this text is a translation of one of the loveliest words in the Greek language, the adjective kalos. As one of the words used by the Greeks for “good,” kalos meant good in the sense of fine or beautiful. As indicated by the traditional KJV translation “honest,” kalos in Luke 8:15 refers to that which is morally honorable or praiseworthy. Paired with the adjective agathos, as it frequently was by secular Greek writers, kalos is used here to describe the heart that is sound and true. When Jesus said that the “good soil” in his parable represented those who have a “noble and good heart,” the idea is that those whose spiritual lives come to fruition are those who have minds that are open to God’s truth and dispositions that are eager to conform to His will. With regard to God, then, our motives must be completely pure. We must be moved by an honest, guileless intent to do whatever is right.
But why is this kind of heart so essential? There are a number of reasons, but one of the most important is that without hearts that are sincerely open to God, we won’t be in a position even to understand His truth. The key to spiritual comprehension is not intelligence, but purity of heart. As William Barclay once commented: “People can become so dull and heavy and blunted in mind that when God’s truth comes to them they cannot see it. It is not God’s fault. They have become so mentally lazy, so blinded by prejudice, so unwilling to see anything they do not want to see, that they have become incapable of assimilating God’s truth.”
The possibility that we may not have the “heart” to understand what God wishes to say is a frightening prospect. But our hearts are not predetermined or ruined beyond repair. Any of us can decide to have a heart that is true, and making this choice is always the first step toward seeking God.
“A guileless mind is a great treasure; it is worth any price” (A. W. Tozer).