We have come to a very familiar parable today. Luke relates for us Jesus’ telling of the parable of the sower and the seed. We looked at this parable in Matthew and Mark. We even took two days to look at it in Matthew. I’m going to link this page with the other blogs where we shared this story, including the explanation ones. In the first post we looked at The Farmer’s Story. The second post looked at The Crowd. The third was Jesus’ Explanation and Categorizing the Crowd. The fourth one looked at The Seed Itself.
I have been struggling with what to write about this time from our reading. I started out by re reading everything I had written before from this parable and the explanation. I didn’t want to duplicate completely a previous line of thought. But I didn’t know what else to look at. I found myself being brought back to Jesus’ last comment, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (verse 8). So I figured this was a good place to go. I started to get busy and explain what He meant by this comment. I was asking myself, “But what do I do with that?” Then I realized something. I was trying to make something out of this message without even asking God what He wanted to say. So I had to stop and ask for forgiveness. I needed to stop speaking and start listening. I need to have ears to hear and ask the question, “What do YOU want to do with that?”
If I go no further than this, I still have learned, or been reminded, of something tonight. That it is not me that writes the stories but God. It is not my job to come up with the unique interpretations. It’s HIS word and HIS choice as to what He wants me to see when I read it.
When Jesus walked the earth He spoke God’s words to MANY people, but He didn’t want ALL of them to understand everything He was saying. God had a plan and those listening to Jesus’ words had a part to play in that plan. His closest followers got to hear His words right along with those who would cry out for His blood to be shed. Each group and each individual in those groups would receive or “hear” what they needed to hear at the time.
The disciples would have the added bonus of having time with Jesus for private tutoring. During those sessions He would explain the mysteries of His parables. I think some of those meanings still sailed right over His disciples’ heads, at the time. He wasn’t ready for them to know the FULL truth. But He did share more with them than with the regular attendees.
The Pharisees certainly should have understood more of His teachings. We see evidence that they did get His meaning sometimes, especially when it concerned their malicious behavior towards the things of God. The parable of the vineyard owner certainly got their attention. But even after “hearing” they still refused to act appropriately on that knowledge. Instead, they shut their ears to the truth.
Many of the people understood the story but did not hear the deeper meaning. Their ears were closed by their own circumstance, education, or interest. God closed the ears of many in the crowd. His plan required Jesus to be rejected and if everyone heard and acted according to everything Jesus shared, God’s plan would have been in serious danger. They wouldn’t be forever “deaf” as Jesus sent His disciples out after His death to share the fullness of His message. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that many of those who “didn’t hear” that day on the beach were finally able to “hear” after Pentecost.
But for those who did hear, there is accountability for what was heard. The one who hears has to choose how to act on what they hear. Once something is heard it cannot be unheard. Now the responsibility lies with the hearer. What will they do with what they have heard? Will they burry it and pretend they didn’t hear? Will they think about it, and if so, for how long? Will they put into action what they have heard and what will be the outcome of that action? Will they press forward for more, or try to tear down what has already been built because of hearing?
Lord Jesus, thank You first and foremost for taking the time to share Your word with all of us. Thank You for giving me ears to hear. Help me know what to do with what I hear. Show me Your perfect plan for the truths You share with me. I know You have a time and place for everything You share with me. Help me to know when to laugh and when to weep. When to dance and when to mourn. When to build and when to tear down. A time to every purpose under Heaven. Thank You for knowing the exact time for it all, even when I want You to hurry.