Friday, August 30, 2013

The Nature and Nuances

SIAS University, Henan Province, China
If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? ~ Read Mark 4:13-20

Somewhere along the line I heard Jesus' parables described as "earthly stories with a spiritual meaning," or something similar to that. Certainly that was one of the techniques Jesus used to teach his inner circle. What perfect sense that makes when we remember that he was preparing them to communicate in the awful now-and-now about the sweet by-and-by.

So Jesus scans the landscape and sees a farmer sowing his fields. Swirling winds catch the seed, then die, and drop the sleeping life they carry. Some seed falls along the hard packed footpaths that act as boundary lines. Other seed sifts into the cracks and crevices of the stacked, pyramids of rock picked from the fields. Still, other seed falls into the thorny hedges that serve as natural fencing to contain livestock. And as the farmer intended some falls on the moist, dark soil, of freshly harrowed fields. Jesus saw this cyclical occurrence, and he used it to explain what it would be like as The Twelve delivered the message of the Kingdom.

Hear his voice as he does so. It isn't casual it is emphatic. "If you don't understand the significance of this lesson, you will not understand the nature and nuances of your calling."

Some things to consider...

*Advancing the Kingdom is a spiritual work in an nonspiritual world.

*We are in complete control as to whether or not we will broadcast the Seed.

*We are not in control of where the Seed lands or takes root.

*We should expect the Gospel to receive a mixed response.

*God will reveal the condition of the heart that received the message.

*Keep sowing.

*There is nothing wrong with the seed.

The Parable of the Sower is extremely important for us, because the story helps us to understand, and take the right course of action as we engage in God's purposes. Also, we gain a working knowledge that helps us shed discouragement when people fall out, and avoid the pressure we tend to put on ourselves thinking we are responsible for the outcome. Both of which, we may fall prey to...

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