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 NLT
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.
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.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matt. 5:1
- John 6:60, 66-68
- Matt. 7:21-23
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.