ARE YOU RECEIVING ME?
Lord, thank You for allowing me to be fertile soil for the Word.
Read MATTHEW 13:1–9
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “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. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, 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.
Give thanks for the people who sowed the message of the kingdom into your life. Pray about where you can sow today.
In fairytale land, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince—and in this story, you need to sow a lot of seed to get a harvest. The word is spread widely, but the seed encounters diverse soil types, which make much of it unfruitful. The proclamation that Jesus is king has never been, and will never be, universally accepted—but it will eventually bear fruit. Sowing may involve many “tears” of yearning and frustration, but there are also “songs of joy” (Psa. 126:5,6). Realistic expectations prepare us for rejection, but faith reminds us that God’s kingdom cannot fail, so we persevere in sowing.
At this point, Jesus is incredibly popular—so much so that he makes special arrangements to accommodate the crowds (2)—but he is fully aware that large, enthusiastic crowds do not translate into the commitment demanded of disciples. He arrives on this seashore having faced stern opposition (Matt. 12), and he understands that enthusiasm can easily be stifled. Superficiality makes interest wane before it has had time to take root (6), or interest can persist a little until it is choked off (7). Following a large, successful event which saw hundreds indicate their interest in world missions, a friend spoke to a mere handful of people in the follow-up gathering a couple of weeks later. Disappointing but not surprising—for those who have ears for this parable.
This all seems quite mundane for a proclamation of God’s kingdom. Jesus has the attention of a huge crowd, and yet he chooses to tell them this harmless story. It is hardly firebrand rhetoric! The Lord calls us to ponder—to ask ourselves about our place in the story. Am I genuinely interested, or just here to be entertained? Am I genuinely receptive to this message?
As you read this passage you exhibit a soil type. How have you received this word? Will it remain with you or be lost in the distractions of life?
Lord, guide me as I carry on the work of one of Your sowers in my generation.