Reading for Today: Matthew 13:18-23
Verses for Reflection: Matthew 13:18-23 (NRSV)
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
I’m encouraging you to reflect on the whole passage today.
As a minister, I encounter people each day who resemble all the different kinds of people Jesus mentioned when explaining this parable.
And this gets me thinking: why am I so focused on the different kinds of people I encounter? Doesn’t Jesus provide these words for me, to change my life, not for me to focus on changing everyone else?
I hope you see the trap Jesus referenced so often, the trap of the temptation to think Jesus was talking to everybody else instead of you. Jesus spoke to each of us individually through the scriptures, even as Jesus speaks to us as a whole Church. Jesus is speaking to YOU through these verses. Consider how.
Reflection task for the day: Consider each of the different types of people Jesus referenced in His parable, and reflect on situations in which you are like each of them. Are there times when you don’t understand the words of scripture? Are there times when you receive a message with great joy, thinking it’s exactly what you need to change your life, only to forget about it within a few days or even hours? Are there times when the noise of your life prevents you from living into the message you hear from God? Are there times when you hear a message from God and bear amazing fruit? Reflect on your actions that led to these different consequences. Try to focus on the actions you took that led to the bearing of fruit, and try to create a plan for duplicating those actions as much as possible.
Have a blessed day,