Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us (Matthew 13:11). Jesus came to share this kingdom message (Luke 4:43). So I'm examining different passages related to this kingdom message.
Matt 13:3-9 (NIV)
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”Matt 13:18 - 23 (NIV)
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."(Parallel passage in Luke 8)
I don't know why Jesus chose to speak in parables, and why the secrets of the kingdom were not written down in the form of a creed or catechism... but it is keeping my interest.
So what secrets can I discover here?
- Not everyone receives the message of the kingdom the same way.
- Some don't understand it, and the kingdom does not even germinate in their lives.
- For others the message is received but it has no lasting impact because they are not prepared for hardships that come.
- For others the message is received, but there is no life changing impact. They get distracted by stuff in this world and the kingdom is not evident in their lives.
- Others receive the message of the kingdom, the kingdom took root in their lives, and it was evident by the fruit it produced.
I won't try to guess why different people receive the message of the kingdom well and others don't. I don't know how much is our responsibility, and how much is God's grace. And I'm guessing that wasn't the point and I don't need to understand that right now.
But it is interesting that Jesus explains what the different types of responses are? Which type of soil are we going to be?