Jesus told a parable: “A sower went forth to sow. Some of the seed fell by the wayside and the birds devoured it. Some fell on hard ground and withered because the young plants could not put down deep roots. Some fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them. Now some of the seeds fell on good ground and they brought forth fruit — in some cases a hundred fold.”
Jesus later explained that the seed falling on good soil is like someone who “hears the word and understands.”
In what condition is the soil that is your heart?
Do we listen to God — do we hear God? Jesus in this parable is talking about those who hear the word — who hear his teachings and the word of the Gospel. He knows that some will “hear” yet will have heard nothing. Others will make a slight effort but then fall away. Others might be sincere, but when they get out into the world they waver and wither. Jesus says that only a few will experience the joy and new meaning of what walking with Christ is.
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Why is it that more people do not pay more attention to his words?
Do we just not listen enough? And if we do, how much do we remember?
Jesus’ emphasis in Matthew (13) is not upon the sower nor the seed but upon the soil and the condition of the soil. God is the sower, the Gospel is the seed and the soil is our hearts.
It is difficult to reach a heart that is hardened to the Gospel or a life that is choked with the “weeds” of the the world.
It is not easy to avoid the outside world and its dangerous attractions, but with Christ and the Gospel of truth, and with trust and faith, we can live a life of joy and peace.
We often need to get to a quiet place and pray and listen. The major part of prayer is listening. Mother Teresa used to say that when she prayed, she just listened. Someone asked her, “What does Christ say,” and she said, “Nothing — God listens.”
Valerie Delooze is the pastor in the Madisonburg and Rebersburg United Methodist Churches.