Lord, continue to teach me Your Word so that I can be Your good and effective ambassador to others.
Read Mark 4:1-12
 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.  He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:  “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”  Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables  so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat kinds of “soils” are described here?
There is a common fallacy that Jesus taught in parables to make it easier for people to understand. Well, if he did, then it clearly didn’t work (10). In fact, he said that he used parables because he knew they wouldn’t be understood (11,12)! It seems strange to us that Jesus wouldn’t want as many people as possible to understand his message. But for him, the priority was that the right people understood his teaching, namely, those who wanted it were ready for it.
How often have we seen Christian leaders misunderstood and misrepresented in the media? Jesus didn’t give the professional gossips of his day anything to get their claws into. There wasn’t much that the religious leaders of Jerusalem could do with the collection of agricultural stories reported to them.
We easily fall into the trap of wanting everyone to understand our faith. And that leads to indiscriminate evangelism. We should pay more attention to Jesus. He knew he would be misunderstood and misrepresented. So he focused his teaching on those who genuinely wanted to learn about God.
Who are the people around you who genuinely want to learn about God? How can you share your faith with them clearly?
Lord Jesus, prepare the heart of someone to want to know You and lead me to that person, I pray.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.