Summary: Message about cultivating the heart so the Lord can work and the word can grow.
Title: Jesus and the Word
Theme: To understand that Jesus puts emphasis in receiving the Word.
Text: Mark 4
2Co 9:6-7 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (7) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Mar 4:1-9 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. (2) Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: (3) "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. (4) And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. (5) Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. (6) But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. (7) And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. (8) But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." (9) And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Mar 4:10-12 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. (11) And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, (12) so that 'Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.' "
It is not as if he does these things to conceal the kingdom from others but actually the opposite. He speaks in parables so that people can understand. The problem is their unbelieving heart causes not to see them. Listen to the Message.
MSG 11 He told them, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom--you know how it works. But to those who can't see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight. 12 These are people-- Whose eyes are open but don't see a thing, Whose ears are open but don't understand a word, Who avoid making an about-face and getting forgiven."
Jesus speaks in parables not to harden their hearts but because their hearts are already hardened. Some people don’t listen to what you say except to try to find an argument against you. Sometimes its just not worth the effort to talk about.
Some people say, “I want to know, I want to know Christ”. They say it but it is not true. They don’t want to make the sacrifices. They don’t want to give into the ways of Christ. They like the idea of salvation but giving up something is to hard. This even happens to Christians.
In each of these situations you discover that there is only one variable in each situation or one thing that changes. The sower is the same it is God. As we know God does not change “he is the same yesterday, today and forever”. The Word does not change. It has been the same for close to two thousand years and it will not change. It is a closed revelation. There is nothing being added to it.
The only variable is the soil. In each section the soil or the individuals response to the Word that changes.
13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
NIV 13 Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
MSG 13 He continued, "Do you see how this story works? All my stories work this way.
If you can figure out the meaning of this parable then you can understand the others. In other words there is a lot that is tied into this. I believe that as we start this New Year we need to figure out what this parable means to us so that God can prepare us to receive what he wants us to have.
Perspective is the key. Also as we will see the heart is the key. Where your heart is helps you to bring understanding to what you are listening to. It is not all about attention with the eyes and mind but the heart.