Sunday 27 February, 2022

Matthew 13:1-17

13 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.

* 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 Ps. Ainslie Woods

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