My Daily Journal:
I got caught up in Matthew 13:23 today. “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.”
There are three responses we are called to make:
But responses to what? This took me back to Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
I thought it was interesting how these parallel each other. When we ask, our required response is to hear. When we seek, our required action is to understand and when we knock on the door and it is open, our job is not done – we are called to produce fruit.
But how often are we like the religious leaders of this time. They asked lots of questions. Every week of our study we see then asking more challenging questions, but they did not hear – they already made up their mind. In the same way, we cry out to God for direction, for a sign, for His intervention in our lives, but then we don’t read the book He gave us and we fight His calling if it doesn’t match our wants and desires.
The religious leaders sought wisdom, they sought approval from God by obeying His laws (and additional ones), they sought a Messiah, but when all of this was in their face, they didn’t understand. Their mind and hearts were closed off. How often do we do the same – asking God to answer a prayer, but only in a specific way that suits our thinking about what is best?
Finally, the shepherds of the time were more interested in beating their flocks into submission than in producing fruit. When the door is open to help bring someone closer to the Lord, do we step through and do the hard work required?
Earthly story with a heavenly meaning
Yes, Matt 11:25 – Jesus praised God “because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
The word of God (Luke) The good news of salvation, the origin of faith
These phrases are in Luke only:
were coming to Jesus from town after town,
His disciples asked him
The knowledge of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.”
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.
He, Jesus, is the farmer (or more appropriately, the seed company – the producer of the seed)
path; hears does not understand (devil snatches away); rocky ground: hears, receives w/joy, no root, at trouble fall away; thorns: hears, worry and wickedness choke it; good soil: hears, understnd, produce
14: If you love me, keep my commands (love/obedience)
15: I am the voice; you are the branches, remain in me, bear fruit (God’s strength)
5: Peter & apostles, “we must obey God rather than human beings” (obedience)
2: work out salvation w/fear/trembling, God who works in you: His good purposes (by God/for God)