13 That same day Jesus left the house and sat by the Sea of Galilee. 2 Large crowds gathered around him. So he got into a boat. He sat down in it. All the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things by using stories. He said, “A farmer went out to plant his seed. 4 He scattered the seed on the ground. Some fell on a path. Birds came and ate it up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky places, where there wasn’t much soil. The plants came up quickly, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 When the sun came up, it burned the plants. They dried up because they had no roots. 7 Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and crowded out the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It produced a crop 100, 60 or 30 times more than what was planted. 9 Those who have ears should listen.” 10 The disciples came to him. They asked, “Why do you use stories when you speak to the people?” 11 He replied, “You have been given the chance to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. It has not been given to outsiders. 12 Everyone who has that kind of knowledge will be given more. In fact, they will have very much. If anyone doesn’t have that kind of knowledge, even what little he has will be taken away from him. 13 Here is why I use stories when I speak to the people. I say, “They look, but they don’t really see. They listen, but they don’t really hear or understand. 14 “In them the words of the prophet Isaiah come true. He said, “‘You will hear but never understand. You will see but never know what you are seeing. 15 The hearts of these people have become stubborn. They can barely hear with their ears. They have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes. They might hear with their ears. They might understand with their hearts. They might turn to the Lord, and then he would heal them.’ (Isaiah 6:9,10) 16 “But blessed are your eyes because they see. And blessed are your ears because they hear. 17 What I’m about to tell you is true. Many prophets and godly people wanted to see what you see. But they didn’t see it. They wanted to hear what you hear. But they didn’t hear it.
* This passage of Scripture is about the readiness of a person’s heart to receive the word of God.
* God so desires for us to listen to him and to be fully engaged.
* The Kingdom of Heaven has secrets that not everybody understands but believers have been given insights and this is a great privilege
How often have you felt that those around you simply “don’t get” why you believe in Jesus and why the Christian faith is central to all you do? This passage of Scripture goes some way in explaining the reasons. On one level it seems a little cruel in that those who listen to God will be given even more knowledge in regards to the Kingdom of God. They already had some level of understanding and now they get more while those with hard hearts, the little they knew is taken from them. It’s the hard hearted that really need the revelation but they are not ready to receive it. They are not looking or listening to God.
Jesus uses parables or storytelling to stir and ready people’s hearts so that they will be in a position to see and hear God. Storytelling is such a powerful form of communication because it engages us from the outset. As a story unfolds an image is brought to mind as we try and work out the plot. The image and therefore the message sticks in one’s mind. Jesus used stories to explain God’s Kingdom because he wants to communicate with men and women. A story can bring a different perspective, the flicker of hope and the beginnings of faith. I am encouraged to share stories rather than principles or facts alone.
Dear God, help me to tell your story to those around me like Jesus did. Amen
Written by Ainslie Woods