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.”

Jesus tells the disciples how blessed they are – they chose to follow Him and learn the lessons He brings. They have taken the first step in their spiritual journey with Christ and will be taught even more yet. He tells them that not everyone will be able to join them, as everyone must choose for themselves to accept the invitation Jesus offers.

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear” (v. 17). Jesus says they will receive the gift of understanding by listening to His lessons and watching how He interacts with people. Then they will be able to share His message with others and invite them to make the decision to follow Him.

Jesus wants all of us to have this blessing, to be able to know the joy of His kingdom and the satisfaction of working with Him to make a better world for everyone. Are you ready to follow Jesus as brothers and sisters? He has a place and a task waiting for you!

Gracious God, keep us aware of the call You place on our lives. Make us strong to do the work, steadfast in our faith, and reaching out with Your love to all. Amen.

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