There are several things going on in today’s reading. While my focus will be mainly on the parable, I wanted to also point out a couple other observations.
The reference to women following Jesus seems to be just sort of stuck in between things. But the message should be huge. In the culture and day, women were not allowed to learn from rabbis. Because Jesus welcomed them and allowed them in his close circle of followers, that shows all people are equal in God’s eyes. Women are still today asserting their strength and voice after feeling second class to men. We should all only worry about the most important relationship of all, with our Creator, Savior and Guide. If we hear and obey, we are all part of God’s family. Jesus offers us all an intimate relationship with him.
Did the “good soil” parable speak to you differently today? Jesus does a very good job of using this parable to separate the different people who hear his word. We have the “path” people, the “rock” people, the “thorn” people and the “good soil” people. Which one describes you the best?
What struck me today was the reminder of fulfilled prophecy from Isaiah 6:9-10. I’ve been perplexed at how the teachers of the law and religious folks missed the Son of God in their midst. But, it was predicted to be, they “don’t really see” and certainly “don’t understand.” What about us? Are we blind to the truth, too?
Jesus’ parable then takes us to the level of our obedience and understanding. I’m sure we’d all love to stand and boldly proclaim to be “good soil” people. However, there have been times in our life, I’m sure, when we may have been more like “thorn” people. What do I mean? Just that there are so many things that are pulling on our attention, so many voices in this world. Materialism is at an all-time high in many societies, and the desire for more and more stuff pervades. If we are sucked into the world, always wanting more “stuff” to make us happy, to give us purpose, we are letting the thorns of life crowd out our most important relationship and message.
There are many “path” people walking around that have heard the word of God but haven’t yet believed. Maybe some grew up in church but were hurt in some way, so they have walked away. Do we just leave them be? I don’t think so. And the rocks, they’ve heard, think it sounds cool, but they never seem to get around to putting into action what they have read. They are missing out on sprouting and growing into the beautiful creation they were meant to be, connected to the Father.
Think today about the good soil of your life. Clean away the weeds and thorns. Prepare your heart today and everyday to hear the word of God anew and fresh. His word is alive. He will reveal new truths to you even in the familiar story.
What is God saying to you today?
Let Jesus’ words convict you. “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” I want to understand more.
Let’s pray. Father God, forgive me for times when my soil has been full of rocks and thorns. This is such a perfect image to help me do some clearing away. Never let me again have too much happening that I fail to make you a priority. Thank you for each day and each new message you lay on my heart. I feel energized to know that you are walking with me every moment. May all my words and deeds be pleasing to you. May I be a magnet to others. Use me, Lord, send me, to make you real to the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.