Heavenly Father, You are the source of my peace and power. I turn to Your Word for guidance today.
Read Mark 4:1-9
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.
A hunger for meaning and purpose is very real in the Western world. Reflect on how this need might have been used by the Holy Spirit to draw you to faith.
Despite the antagonism of the Pharisees, many people from across the region continued to flock to Jesus. The crowd was so large that the only way he could effectively address them was from a floating pulpit. What was it that drove them to him? Mark has already provided much explanation, and it could be instructive to compare it to our own experience.
Some were clearly drawn by the radical difference between Jesus’ teaching and the diet fed to them by their traditional teachers of spirituality. Jesus’ words had authority–they had the ring of truth (1:22). He intervened in power to liberate the demon-possessed and cure the sick, and many came either to witness this or to seek healing for themselves. Perhaps others were intrigued by his disdain of the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Torah, and others were no doubt drawn by his affection and respect for those ostracized by respectable people (see 2:16,27). When we look around us in our own towns, cities and neighborhoods, can we recognize these same hungers in the people we encounter? Do we see a longing for authentic and liberating spirituality, for healing, and for a non-judgmental community of sinners, woven together by their shared experience of repentance, grace, acceptance and forgiveness? As companions of Jesus, this is also our hunger. Amazingly, we’re called to be part of God’s response to these human yearnings.
Mark has recorded only one of the public parables that Jesus used on this occasion to teach “them many things by parables” (2), and the crowd was not present when Jesus explained its meaning (4:13-20). Those described in the parable as the “good soil” would undoubtedly have pondered deeply to fathom its meaning. Almost certainly, they would have been among those to whom its truths were later revealed.
Ponder what it is that makes you want to stay faithful to Christ, and what temptations challenge this commitment.
Merciful Lord, I am grateful that, through You, I have found meaning in my life, and that is just the beginning. How great You are and how blessed am I!