May 10 - The Sower, Pt. 2

Friday, May 10, 2013

Matthew 13:18-23

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

It isn't often that Jesus takes the time to fully explain his parables, but in this instance he wanted to ensure his listeners clearly understood his meaning.  He had come for the express purpose of bringing salvation to his people.

Now, the Israelites were expecting a Messiah. They’d been praying for him to arrive for centuries. But, they were expecting him to arrive and when he did, he was to be riding a white horse and sweeping through releasing them from bondage to worldly domination.

He didn't quite do that and in this parable he continues to point out that the kingdom he speaks of is very different than the one they expect. This is the message of the kingdom. If you don’t understand it, you will lose it, he says.

He is bringing a message that will be received by many in different ways. Some will hear the message and instantly be overjoyed, but they have no root and before long they turn aside. The message is too difficult for them to live out in their lives.

Others will hear the message, but focus more on the problems of their small lives and the message gets lost in the morass of worries. They spend time worrying about what things look like to the outer world and how to keep holding on to the money they've made and the message of God’s kingdom gets lost and soon, it is gone.

Fortunately, there are plenty who hear the message, and think about it, they spend time learning more and create healthy lives in which the message of love then becomes part of everything they do.  This creates opportunities for others to hear and receive the message of the kingdom.

Jesus wasn't about a loud, glorious victory.  His victories are found in the hearts and souls of those who are open to him and are willing to listen, understand and respond to the message he brings: God loves you and wants a relationship with you.