Father, I am grateful for Your Word. May I faithfully read it, eagerly study it, and resolutely obey it.
Read LUKE 8:1-15
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.
“It is your speech to us that carries us where we have never been, and it is your speech to us that is our only hope. So give us ears” (Walter Brueggemann).
We continue the theme of loving gratitude expressed by women towards Jesus. Several are named as traveling companions and financial supporters (2-3). They had done the unthinkable–they had left the well-defined social space of home and family and joined an itinerant preacher on his travels. This is just as shocking, from a first-century Palestinian point of view, as the previous story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet.
In so doing they illustrated this parable. Here were individuals whose lives were already bearing fruit as they put comfort, money and reputation on the line for this extraordinary new kingdom movement. They had proven to be good soil (8), as had the Gentile centurion and the unnamed woman overwhelmed with gratitude. The response of Simon the Pharisee, however, was of soil choked by thorns of prejudice (7). This parable is not so much about the nature of God’s Word as about those who receive it and how they do so, not merely their initial response. Are we open and receptive to God’s words? Or are there factors in our lives preventing them from taking root and bringing about genuine change?
Jesus describes three kinds of unfruitful soil–hard, shallow and thorny with preoccupations. These conditions can exist at any time, not just when we engage with the message of salvation, so it is important to ask ourselves how receptive we are to what God is saying to us now. Are there things getting in the way, distracting us or choking out the invitation of God in our lives? Are we living our Christian lives in quite a superficial way, skating across the surface, paying lip service to faith with little inner reality? In contrast, are there promises of God within which we can live more deeply?
If you have a journal, look back to occasions when God spoke to you. Do you still need to respond? If you don’t have a prayer journal, try starting one.
Lord, sometimes I feel my spiritual mouth has developed more than my spiritual ears. I talk to You more than I listen to You. Enable me to listen more than speak.
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