Ears to hear...
That same day, Yeshua went out of the house and sat down by the lake; 2 but such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there while the crowd stood on the shore. 3 He told them many things in parables:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he sowed, some seed fell alongside the path; and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky patches where there was not much soil. It sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow; 6 but when the sun had risen, the young plants were scorched; and since their roots were not deep, they dried up. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 But others fell into rich soil and produced grain, a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as had been sown. 9 Those who have ears, let them hear!”
Parables... Jesus used them often. Stories that would explain a point. For this particular parable Jesus actually spoke from a boat.
In order to understand the parables He taught, we must understand the context and history surrounding the time of when He spoke them. They can be used as simple "children's stories," and we would learn quite a lot, but when we dig a little deeper we might find layers of interpretations.
I believe Jesus used parables for a reason. They don't really "grow old." They can actually "grow" with time. Because of situations happening in the world today, a parable might take on a different understanding for one person than another. However, the basic teaching is still the same.
In the parable above, Jesus speaks of a farmer. In the area where the people lived, there was lots of rocky ground. It was dry and dusty. They would have a difficult time working a field to get soil like Indiana and Iowa have. But, the soil still produced wheat, barley, and many fruits.
Jesus knew that this teaching would touch the hearts of the people. He could help them understand their heart, and the reactions of others, by using the simple analogy of farming.
Jesus does give an explanation for this parable later on in Chapter 13, so we won't go into that now. What I would like for you to think about is, what was the area like around the Sea of Galilee? If you have not been there, the best I can do to describe it is, there are shrubs, date palms, thorny bushes, rock and weeds... In the areas where they have been able to till the ground there is the ability to produce wheat and barley, but those places are actually a bit away (when one considers they were walking) from the Sea of Galilee. These people knew what birds could do, what problems thorns cause, and how rocks are everywhere. The HOT sun would also cause things to die quickly.
Using a parable like this, Jesus could "show" them with "pictures." Most people learn better when they can "see" something. Jesus used parables for the people to "see" what He wanted them to learn.
As we begin walking through these lessons may we all begin to see them in a new way. Always asking Him what He wants us to see. Always being open to new Truths and understandings. Let's use our ears to hear Him.
Love and blessings,
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