Jesus: Storyteller, Sower
Great God, Your mercy, love and power are from everlasting to everlasting. Center me in You today.
Read Mark 4:1-9
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.
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God” (Gerald Manly Hopkins, 1844–1889). We stand in awe of our Lord’s wisdom, which tells of a kingdom in the sowing of a seed.
This is the first parable recorded in Mark’s Gospel. It was not the only one that Jesus told the crowd that day (2), so it has been chosen as an important example of his teaching. Jesus was a prolific and masterly storyteller; he observed the world around him and drew out memorable pictures to teach deep truths about the nature of God and his kingdom.
In the three Gospels which record this parable, Matthew, Mark and Luke, the parable of the sower does not begin with, “The kingdom of God is like a sower.” It does not mention God at all. Rather, it begins, “There was a sower…” The challenge seems to be: “What do you make of this?” Jesus attracts the interest of everyday people with his everyday stories and then provokes the question, “What is this all about?”
We can learn from how Jesus communicated with people, creating vivid pictures to convey wonderful truths about God in parables that connect earth with heaven. His teaching held his listeners transfixed, even though they understood little. Perhaps they saw flashes of the kingdom as Jesus spoke and it kept them hooked. Jesus’ passion for communicating God’s truth inspires us to commit wholeheartedly to sharing the gospel, connecting our lives with God’s heavenly purposes and communicating this to people around us. Jesus’ model challenges us to remain faithful in sharing our faith in ordinary everyday life, knowing that this glorifies God whether we are met by disbelief, incomprehension or the first flickers of faith.
How well do we see the grandeur of God’s kingdom in the world around us? Let us pray for skill in communicating this to those alongside us—in the supermarket, the office, the family gathering—wherever we connect with those who don’t know God.
What kind of “soil” would best describe your response to the Gospel when you first heard it? What kind of a crop have you been producing lately?
Give me opportunities, Lord, to tell the story of Your saving grace, which will lead others to You.
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