God, may I hear what You want to say and understand the good heart from which You speak.
Read Mark 4:1-9
 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, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”  Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are the different soils?
So far, Mark has shown Jesus as a healer and miracle-worker, but now for the first time Mark recounts a block of teaching by Jesus. In Matthew and Luke, the first teaching is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7; Luke 6); but Mark goes straight to the parables of the kingdom, beginning with the sower. We can imagine Jesus catching sight of a farmer on the hillside nearby, scattering the seed by hand, a very common occurrence and one which his listeners would have often seen. And so Jesus uses everyday events and talks of himself as a farmer who is sowing the seed of God’s Word (3). This story is well known, but read it again slowly, imagining the scene – Jesus, the farmer nearby, maybe the wind blowing some seeds, a bird or two hovering hopefully. As you picture the different places where the seeds land, think of your own life and how the story applies to you. This will come out again more strongly in tomorrow’s reading of the meaning as given by Jesus (13–20).
How do you best hear and understand what God might be saying? What might help you “hear aright”?
God, You are my God and I will yield to You, I will seek You, and I will give You all my heart.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.