Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jesus, just who are you talking to? Mathew 13:1-23

Good Afternoon, after a week off for Bible School and Vacation it seems like a good thing to look at scipture
Jesus, who are you talking to? Might sound like a funny question until considering the mixed crowd who came to see Him.
People have different reasons to seek Jesus out:

  • real disciples want to walk close with him

  • crowds come for deeds of power: healings and miracles

  • others come looking to dispute with Jesus.

In the middle of Matthew we see these different groups take shape. In Matthew 10
Jesus called his twelve followers together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. Matthew 10:1-2 CEV.
With His friends headed out to preach and heal Jesus turned to the crowds and spoke to them (in Matthew 11). His words to the crowd were both promises of blessing and deeply perplexing. The disciples returned to Jesus (in Matthew 12)and as he taught many became angry because he dared to eat and heal on the Sabbath. Jesus sought to get away but the crowds found him together with his friends sitting by the lakeshore (in Matthew 13).
Imagine the scene: a sloping beach with a few boats nearby. The crowd who came to see Jesus was so big he put out a little way into the lake in a boat to speak to them. The air and lake most likely were calm, the water almost like glass as Jesus spoke to them,
And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, tthey withered away. Other seeds fell among uthorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:4-9 ESV)
Sure Jesus says let any with ear hear this word but some in the crowd were confused. Maybe they came to see acts of power and instead Jesus told them stories about a farmer spreading seed. His disciples asked him why he taught in stories. Their teacher responded,
“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. (Matthew 13:11 ESV)
These words bother me and they really should: as a sinner I want Jesus to work as I would have Him work. I want His Word to be accepted by all very easily. And here Jesus speaks so boldly of the challenges we offer to God. Jesus tells out loud what it's like when God's Word enters into our lives.
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and munderstands it. He indeed ubears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Jesus doesn't say everything is well with us in our current condition; quite the opposite. He's naming what happens when God's Word enters our lives. God might call us to great things; but he might also call us to leave aside the easy path, the rocky soil, and the thorns in our lives in order that we might flourish for His glory. God can do great things.

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