Preparing the Soil of Our Hearts

Message:  In Matthew 13 a very large crowd had gathered and Jesus was speaking to them in parables. The disciples asked him why he was speaking to them in parables and he told them “The secrets of the kingdom of heaven were given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. For whoever has, more will be given to him and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking, they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand.”  The first time I read this passage it really tripped me up. It seemed harsh and unlike Jesus. I had always been taught that it’s important that we simplify the gospel for people to understand. Here Jesus was doing the complete opposite. He seemed to be cryptic about it all. What I noticed as I read this is that the crowd didn’t ask questions about what Jesus was saying. The disciples did. They asked Jesus what the parables meant and he explained them. I started to see through this that Jesus gave everyone the same opportunity but only those who were genuinely interested pursued him to ask questions. It made me think of times I have asked questions for things that I truly wanted to understand, versus times I was only casually interested and received an answer that was far more involved than I was interested in hearing. In the latter situation it was really a waste of someone’s time and energy to answer because my heart and mind were not invested. That information went in and right back out. Jesus was not keeping the gospel from people. He was planting seeds for later on. It’s no coincidence that the first parable he told them was about the soil of our hearts while he was literally planting seeds into their hearts at that very moment.  For their sake he didn’t try to force them to hear what they weren’t ready to hear. I also picked up in other places of scripture that he said certain things to the crowd and left them cryptic on purpose because he knew that later on when prophecy was fulfilled that they would remember his word and it would click. Isn’t that so true of all of us? I can’t count the number of times that something someone said clicked way later when I had more experience or more pieces to the puzzle. I wonder how many people from that crowd heard those parables and came to understand them later on after Jesus rose from the dead? If he had told them all the plan ahead of time they would have never believed it or understood it. Even the disciples didn’t understand that plan until it was over, and Jesus told them several times that he was going to die and come back. How many times have we been frustrated that God seemed so vague, but thought later on after all was said and done “I would have never guessed he would do it that way!” Today I’m asking God to bring light to the things in the gospel that I have heard but not yet received. Thank you Lord that you give us pieces of things to be revealed when the soil of our hearts are ready for them. Forgive us when we become frustrated because you seem so cryptic and vague. We don’t know what we don’t know but we ask you to prepare the soil of our hearts and make us ready to hear the truth of your word.

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