Monday, March 7, 2016
Matthew 13 has one of my favorite parables – the sower. Click on the graphic will take you to a larger copy where you can see all the details, which are important in understanding the parable. Also important is the setting in which the parable was given:
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. (Matthew 13:1-2)
This must have been a full day. In Chapter 12 we read of healing, confrontation with Pharisees and a definition of his brother, sister and mother. The same day He left the house to sit by the seaside – but was not left alone. Multitudes followed Him.
Not an unusual .occurrence. Within the four gospels and Acts there are 101 verses of “multitude” or “multitudes.” Granted, the gospels describe many of the same events, so we could be looking at 25 separate occasions within a three year period where masses of people kept Him from having private moments. This time, He moved to a ship and spoke to the multitude.
Sunday morning, Bro. Sam Davison from Oklahoma City described this scene then spoke to us about understanding “wayside heart.” It was a description of my heart, too.
Yes, Christians can ignore good news for them, too.
As His followers we’ve been given the explanation of this parable in verses 18-23, and we are very aware of Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled:
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Matthew 13:13-15)
The wayside in the parable is hard ground, untilled, unprepared to receive seeds, leaving them available bird feed. Christians can have hardened hearts, not opening themselves to God’s message for their lives. Some have been emotionally, spiritually or even physically hurt during their Christian lives – perhaps by someone in a leadership position in a congregation. Others simply do not apply growth in their own lives. Yes, we often miss the mark.
What do we do when we recognize this in our lives? Talk with God. He has provided an advocate for us:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Isn’t that what we pray for our family and friends? A personal relationship with our Lord? Shouldn’t we keep that relationship fruitful ourselves? How do we describe our Bible reading, our prayer life, our own personal relationship with God?