Monday 13 August, 2018

Matthew 13:1-17

3 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Think about it. We know more about God’s promises to Abraham than Abraham did, because we know about Jesus: his promised offspring through whom all nations are blessed. We know more about the law than Moses. He only knew the law that no-one could keep. We know Jesus who fulfilled it all for us. And we know Jesus whom the prophets foretold.

It’s significant that when the disciples came to Jesus Matthew doesn’t tell us they asked what the story meant (Mark and Luke do); they asked what Jesus was thinking (“why do you use stories”). They want to know him first. Their eyes and ears are open because their hearts are open to Jesus.

It strikes me that the good soil (which I want to be – see tomorrow) is only good soil because it belongs to the farmer. He’s the one who has removed the stones; he’s the one who pulled out the weeds; he’s the one who ploughed it to break up the hard bits. It’s good soil because it receives and nourishes the farmer’s seeds. And it’s the farmer who will gather the harvest. It wouldn’t be good soil except for the farmer.

If I want to be that good soil I have to belong to God first. I will only really know and understand the word of God if I first know the living word (Jesus). My mind will really understand only when it’s renewed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2).

I love it that the God I love is also the God who reveals himself. Jesus, I want to know you as my friend (and savior) first and I want to know everything about you because I love you. Thank you that you give both so generously.

Written by David Cornell

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