Monday, February 09, 2009

Daily Digest #224

Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them. —Matthew 13:34

I love Jesus' parables. Even now, there are stories that have still not sunken in... and I pray for the day that I may understand them fully in my life. I want to share to you one of my favorites, Jesus' parable of the sower.

The Parable of the Sower

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."

When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.

"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

What's the point of this story? It is for the those who hear His words, in many different forms -- in the Bible, in readings, songs, even wise words from a friend or a stranger. And there are different ways of accepting God's word, just as they produce different kinds of results.

I, for instance, have accepted God's words in different ways. I have to admit that I have allowed myself to switch from path to path. There were times when I was a prejudiced hearer, when I chose to be unteachable and blind. I diverted myself to judging people instead, especially those who uttered or taught the Words, but acted otherwise. Later on, I became a shallow hearer. I listened, I read, but I failed to think things out or think them through. Though I had been touched emotionally, when it wore off, my mind wandered somewhere else. It was like simply getting a spiritual/emotional high. Then came many interests and worries, which made me choose not to listen or understand what was truly important. Though I knew what was the right thing to do, I chose to put my own interests at the top of my priorities. And they all brought me nothing but dryness -- a long, pointless wandering to the land of nowhere.

The parable teaches us how we should have an open mind -- willing to listen, learn and understand -- at ALL TIMES. God's word has power to change and transform us into the likeness of His son. God gives grace to those who hunger for His word that they may understand His will and have the strength and freedom to live according to it.

For this, let us pray. May we never be too proud or too busy to learn and understand His word. May God's word take deep root in our hearts that we may grow strong in love and live in the hope of joining His family forever. Pray always.

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