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Ready to Receive

• Scott Boren

There were many people following Jesus in the first century. They heard his preaching, observed his actions of love to the outcasts, and even witnessed his miracles. However, Jesus did not fit people’s expectations of how a Messiah should act. He did not conform to preciously established paradigms shaped by the culture of the time. These cultural blinders impacted people’s ability to receive what Jesus was saying.

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There were many people following Jesus in the first century. They heard his preaching, observed his actions of love to the outcasts, and even witnessed his miracles. However, Jesus did not fit people’s expectations of how a Messiah should act. He did not conform to preciously established paradigms shaped by the culture of the time. These cultural blinders impacted people’s ability to receive what Jesus was saying.
In this context, he uses the Parable of the Soils to explain how people receive his words. Traditionally called the Parable of the Sower, this parable is not about the farmer who sows seeds but how the soil received the seeds.

Jesus observed four kinds of soil: the path, the rocky soil, the thorny soil and the good soil. The seeds, which Jesus explains are the word of God, land on these various soils which respond to the seed in different ways.

This parable is not about labeling who is in the Kingdom of God and who is outside the Kingdom of God. Instead, this parable addresses the state of our hearts and how prepared we are to receive the truths of God. The problem is that there are aspects of our culture that we pick up along life’s way which make the soil of our hearts bad. Many times, we don’t even realize how the norms of our culture sneak in and hinder our ability to receive the word of God. To be ready to receive God’s words, we must adopt different practices than those of the wider culture. When we do this, we cultivate or prepare our hearts to be ready to receive the seeds of God.

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Topics: Blessings, Salvation, Transformation


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 8:1-15

    After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

    While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
    When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."

    His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
    “ 'though seeing, they may not see;
    though hearing, they may not understand.'

    “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

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