SOWING AND SEEING
Soften my heart to hear and absorb Your words, Spirit of God.
Read Mark 4:1–9
The Parable of the Sower
4 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. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectImagine yourself in the crowd by the lake, straining to hear the story Jesus is telling. So what brings you to the lakeside today?
Jesus is out in a boat. You’ve heard Him tell stories a few times before. You don’t really get what He’s talking about, but they’re definitely not just tales with a twist. Maybe this time you’ll get it? You’ve not heard this one before… Jesus tells parables to sort out those who are just going along with the crowd because of His popularity, and those who are genuinely seeking to understand about God (more about this in verses 10 to 12.) How about you?
You listen, captivated by Jesus’ story of the farmer sowing seeds and reaping a harvest – or not. It’s the kind of rural scene you see all the time here in the fields by the lakeside. The farmer in the story is doing what farmers always do – it’s all very familiar, nothing unusual here.
But for those of us who long to follow Jesus, just hearing God’s words isn’t enough. We need to focus so that we actually hear them, then search (with the help of the Holy Spirit) for the deeper meaning in them. Finally, we need to do something about what they tell us (James 1:22–25).
Jesus invites us to “hear” what He has to say about life with God in His kingdom (9). Have you heard the word with your ears or your heart? Is there something God is asking you to do? Take the first step.
My Jesus, I pray that as I encounter familiar Bible words I will really listen, really understand, and really do what they tell me.