To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ (Luke 8:10 ESV)
People are healed from different diseases and he’s preaching a word that’s captivating and reinforced by the various signs and wonders. He is honoured by the military and hangs around with sinners and even tax collectors. He’s drawing a crowd as he goes from town to city to village to town to city. People clamour to be around him, will he do another sign? What does he have to say now?
Never failing them, Jesus offers the crowd something to tickle their taste buds. It’s only those who are truly interested in him, however, that understand there’s more to being with Jesus than just being tickled by these fascinating parables. There’s more to what he’s said than what he’s said.
It’s not just this particular incident when he talks about the sower and the seed, but this occasion underlines something about what he knew would be the reality of his earthly ministry.
Fascinating though his works were and intriguing though his words were, they wouldn’t have the same effect on everyone. Some would hear the word and it wouldn’t have a chance to settle, it would be a fizzy word – here one minute and gone the next. Some would be excited by the word they heard, but without a foundation to nurture and moisten the word it would eventually wilt under pressure. Some would hear the word but allow it to get choked by external issues and inner desires that surround that word. Only some others would allow the word to take root and then in time let it bring out fruit in its season in multiple form and in fullness.
This episode and the context it finds itself continues to be a challenge in a world that is in need of this word. To those claiming to follow Jesus it is a stern challenge to consider whether it’s truly following Jesus to know Him is the key or whether they are fair-weather friends or people choked up by other issues.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden