What Jesus Did! 'Just for Awhile' — Matthew 13:18, 20-21

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer. 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."
— Matthew 13:18, 20-21
Illustration of Matthew 13:18, 20-21 — "So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer."

Key Thought

Short bursts of faithfulness are not hard. Stringing them together is hard. Sustaining them for long periods of time is incredibly hard. The difficulty comes from the challenge of being faithful. But a key part of the difficulty is that Satan never gives us a free ride. He's always in there trying to mess things up, making them harder, and raising our frustrations. Faithfulness, however, is about a long haul that maintains its target and delivers its payload on time. Jesus wants us to know that it will be easy for us to lose that first flush of joy and sink into mediocrity—or worse—if we do not seriously pursue Jesus through his life and teachings.

Today's Prayer

Father, please help my heart to remain soft and my passion and commitment to be resolute as I face the journey ahead. I don't want to waver or leave room for Satan to come in and steal my heart and life away. Please protect me from the evil one and empower me toward the road ahead. 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

Related Scripture Readings

At one time you were separated from God. You were God's enemies in your minds, because the evil things you did were against God. But now Christ has made you God's friends again. Christ did this by his death while he was in his body. Christ did this so that he could bring you before God. He brings you before God as people who are holy, with no wrong in you, and with nothing that God can judge you guilty of. Christ will do this if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope that Good News gave you. That same Good News has been told to all people in the world. I, Paul, help in telling that Good News.

Colossians 1:21-23

I don't mean that I am already exactly like God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach that goal and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that. That is the reason Christ made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize. That prize is mine because God called me through Christ to the life above.

Philippians 3:12-14

So, brothers and sisters, be careful that none of you is sinful, and refuses to believe, and stops following the living God.

Hebrews 3:12

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.