What Jesus Did! 'Choke Point' — Matthew 13:18, 22

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer. 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}."
— Matthew 13:18, 22
Illustration of Matthew 13:18, 22 — "So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer."

Key Thought

Over-stimulation. Over-saturation. Over-whelmed. We feel under equipped for the sensory overload we carry each day. Commercials tell us all that is wrong with us and what we need to fix it. We are constantly reminded of what we need to do and what we need to pursue. There are so many choices. Then there's our stuff! We worry about it. We insure it. We move it. We hoard it. We desire it. We buy it on credit. We own it. But pretty soon it owns us. Only one thing is needed in our lives—an insatiable quest to live for the Kingdom and honor the King. All other things find their priority in this one. But our desire for more stuff and our distraction by so many glittering pursuits ultimately choke out our passion for this one thing. We must not let this keep happening. We must not. I must not. Or all is out of whack.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please help me as I try to make the quest for your Kingdom my central orienting priority. I want to be wholly yours. I don't want to keep letting stuff, things, money, and the desire for security rob my passion to live for you and to be fruitful in your work in the world. 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

It is true that serving God makes a person very rich, if that person is satisfied with what he has. When we came into the world, we brought nothing. And when we die, we can take nothing out. So, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that. People who want to become rich bring temptations to themselves. They are caught in a trap. They begin to want many foolish things that will hurt them. Those things ruin and destroy people. The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the {true} faith (teaching) because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves to be very, very sad.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

"No person can serve two masters at the same time. He will hate one master and love the other master. Or he will follow one master and refuse to follow the other master. So you cannot serve God and Money at the same time.

Matthew 6:24

The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing the good things God wants you to do. Then all these other things you need will be given to you. So don't worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries.

Matthew 6:33-34

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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.