What Jesus Did! 'LISTEN!' — Matthew 13:1-9

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. Then Jesus used stories to teach the people many things. Jesus said: "A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, it burned the plants. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain. Some plants made 60 times more, and some made 30 times more grain. You people that hear me, listen!"
— Matthew 13:1-9
Illustration of Matthew 13:1-9 —  You people that hear me, listen!

Key Thought

It is easy to be a part of the crowd. It is very hard to communicate effectively and lead a crowd. These two issues challenge Jesus repeatedly through his ministry. But Jesus is not so much interested in attracting a crowd as he is in building a Kingdom. He is not interested in having an audience; he is building an army. So throughout his ministry, he will say difficult things, challenging things, confrontational things, to weed out the crowd and call together his Kingdom. All the while, he reminds those who would follow him, who would be his disciples, who would help him build his Kingdom family, that the responsibility is to not only hear, but to listen—to absorb the message into their hearts and display it in their lives. Today it is so easy for most of us to call ourselves a Christian. Despite the hostility and ridicule in some quarters of society and in the world, so many call themselves Christian without knowing Christ, obeying his word, or living with his character. So as we begin this journey through his parables, you and I must hear the powerful call of Jesus: "You people who hear me, listen!" He doesn't want us in his crowd; he wants to make us to live vibrantly for his Kingdom.

Today's Prayer

O great God of the nations, open my ears that I may fully hear your message to me through Jesus. Father, I don't want to just be in the crowd; I want to be a part of your Kingdom. Forgive me for the times I've piddled at faithfulness. I want to be obedient to Jesus' call so I may reflect your character and grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. Then Jesus used stories to teach the people many things. Jesus said: "A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, it burned the plants. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain. Some plants made 60 times more, and some made 30 times more grain. You people that hear me, listen!" The followers came to Jesus and asked, "Why do you use these stories to teach the people?" Jesus answered, "Only you can know the secret truths about the kingdom of heaven. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. The person that has {some understanding} will be given more. And he will have even more than he needs. But the person that does not have {much understanding} will lose even the little {understanding} that he has. This is why I use these stories to teach the people: The people see, but they don't really see. The people hear, but they don't really understand. So these people show that the things Isaiah said about them are true: 'You people will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand. You people will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see. Yes, the minds of these people (the Jews) are now closed. They have ears, but they don't listen. And they refuse to see {the truth}. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they mightunderstand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed. But you are blessed. You understand the things you see with your eyes. And you understand the things you hear with your ears. I tell you the truth. Many prophets and good people wanted to see the things that you now see. But they did not see these things. And many prophets and good people wanted to hear the things that you now hear. But they did not hear these things. "So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer. What is the seed that fell by the path? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One (the devil) comes and takes away the things that were planted in that person's heart. And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and quickly and gladly accepts that teaching. But that person does not let the teaching go deep into his life. He keeps that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching he accepted, then he quickly quits. And what is the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching but lets worries about this life and love for money stop that teaching from growing. So the teaching does not make fruit {in that person's life}. But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and makes fruit, sometimes 100 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 30 times more."

Matthew 13:1-23

The followers of Jesus heard this. Many of the followers said, "This teaching is hard {to accept}. Who can accept this teaching?" After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left him. They stopped following Jesus. Jesus asked the twelve apostles, "Do you want to leave too?" Simon Peter answered Jesus, "Lord, where would we go? You have the things that give life forever.

John 6:60, 66-68

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.