Jesus begins his parables with a command to “Listen!” I imagine he called out loudly over the water from his place in the boat. Listening is key… note how many times the word ‘hear’ is given in the chapter… at least 9 times.
Lord, help me to be a hearer of the Word like good soil.
Some of the hearers of the Word do not receive it…. they are hardened paths.
Some hearers of the Word receive with joy, but have no root… trouble causes them to fall away.
Thorny soil produces hearers of the Word who appear sincere… but distracted by the things of the world.
The good soil is the only one that produces fruit… fruit in abundance.
It’s evident that hearing the Word, truly receiving it, allowing it to go deep, giving it space to grow, is what produces the crop.
What concerns me though, is the third group, the thorny soil.
But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:20)
The worries of this life
the deceitfulness of wealth
desires for other things…
The seed seems to have taken root, and grown… but it produces no fruit.
Are we choking the word with our need for stuff, our desire for things? Are we deceived by wealth? Is this a word, for our culture today? If the people in Jesus day needed to be warned about the deceitfulness of wealth, how much more do we need to hear this warning, in 2013.
Jesus goes on to talk about a lamp, (vs.21) bringing things into the light… and all the while, it still seems to be about the hearing (vs.23) … Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet. (Ps.119:105) The Word illuminates… if we’re listening, hearing His words.
Jesus extends the call to “consider carefully what you hear” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.” (vs. 24) Or could we say, “with the amount you use it will be given to you.” What do we do with the word that we have received? Do we embrace it, engage it, live it, share it? If not, we will lose it. … “even what he has will be taken away.”
And as the chapter concludes, the words of Jesus calm the storm.
The Word… going deep, taking root, producing fruit, bringing light, calming the storm. Receive it, engage it, reflect and share it.
What are you doing with the word, with what you hear? What do you hear God saying?