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.”

Have you ever wished that you could have been with Jesus as He told the parables to those gathered around Him? What it must have been like to hear the Master teach! Jesus tells the disciples “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.”

While those of us born after Christ’s return to heaven don’t have that face-to-face opportunity the disciples had, we are blessed by those who continued His ministry, ensuring the Good News was shared to all the generations that came after them. Once we have heard and accepted the truth of Christ’s word, we too become responsible for passing it to those around us. In this way, the world may see and hear just as the disciples did.

We need to take our charge from Jesus seriously and share His love by the things we say and do. Would the Lord be proud of what we say to each other and the way we treat our brothers and sisters? We must ensure that what they see and hear from those of us who call ourselves Christians is a reflection of the forgiveness and love Jesus brought to us.

Loving Lord, we should be ashamed of the poor witness we often bear for You in the world. Help us to be strong in the face of conflict and disagreement, to express Your care for all people regardless of the situation. Amen.

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