Our scripture this week is Matthew 13:1-17.

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

As we have discussed, Jesus used parables to reach those who truly wanted to hear about the kingdom of God. To those who listened with their hearts and minds, His lessons brought examples of God’s love and how we are to share it. Jesus wants us to think about our relationship with God and how best to use His gifts.

Those who came to “see the show” or with the intent of discrediting Him heard only a story they didn’t fully understand. Jesus wants all to come to Him, but we must want and accept the blessing He brings us. A connection to God is a two-way street – He has much to give us but we have a responsibility to learn and grow spiritually, being made ready for the task to which He calls us.

Those who come with their arms crossed, saying “prove it to me” are not going to get the message. Jesus wants us to hear and understand the parable, but we must be ready to accept its full meaning and the challenge it presents. Those who earnestly seek the kingdom and are willing to do the work He has for us will see and hear clearly.

Gracious God, we are grateful for the lessons Jesus brought us. Help us to live out the things He taught, sharing Your love everywhere. Amen.

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