July 7, 2014
I apologize for the long post but I was reading this morning about the religious leadership and their fussing at Jesus about his disciples picking some grain to eat on the Sabbath, his healing of a man on the Sabbath, and their comments to him about casting out demons in the name of Evil.
And right after that in Matthew 13 Jesus went out and sat by the lake. People quickly followed and gathered around him to the point that he got in a boat that was pulled upon the shore to put a little bit of distance between him and the people.
And surely with his conversation with the religious leadership on his mind, Jesus began to teach them in a parable, we call it the parable of the sower.
Jesus talked about how the Word was sown among different places and how sometimes the word was received positively and sometimes not. His disciples were a bit amazed at how Jesus taught so they asked him why he spoke in parables. Jesus basically told them that the reason was because even though people saw and heard that it still didn’t register with them, Pharisees would have been a case in point.
So Jesus told them the meaning of the parable, how the message of the Gospel was hindered from various circumstances…
But the part that stuck with me was the seed that was sown on the path. Jesus said this was the person who hears the message about the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it. “The evil one,” Jesus says, “comes along and snatches away what was sown in the heart.”
Now at first I’m thinking, “But if I don’t understand, why am I held accountable?”
And I think of all the times I sat in church (in my former life) and heard the message, often had questions but never asked, didn’t search for the reason my heart burned, and before long the burning went away, the message faded and didn’t affect me much anymore.
The birds came, ate up the seed, and all that was left was hard packed soil.
But God in his mercy continued to hound me through the message, through finely interacting with God in prayer and other means of God’s grace…until such time that I began to search the Scripture, looking and praying for understanding. And when that understanding finally happened, the grain heads began to unfold…
Matthew 13 is a parable about me and you.
It is the story about a people in various sets of situations. Most of us probably began as hard packed soil, or rocky ground, or briars and thorns before we became the fertile soil.
If we don’t maintain our forward movement, continue to grow in Christ likeness, we often seem to revert back.
Just some thoughts…