Text: Mark 4:1-20
Spring-time by the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd gathered to hear Jesus.
What he said to the crowd, in public
The pathway – the stony soil – the thorny ground – the good soil.
No explanation given. What was it all about? Imagine a conversation between four family members:-
Father – “He’s a charlaton.”
Miriam – “I just love those charming stories.”
Mother – “He talks a lot of sense – but I have chores to do, friends to visit, letters to write.”
Benjamin – “He seemed to be speaking to me, and about me. I really want to follow this through.”
“Listen…he who has ears to hear, let him hear…consider carefully what you hear.”
What kind of hearer am I? Hard? Shallow? Preoccupied? Receptive?
What he said to his disciples, in private
“You are in the know about the kingdom of God. I want you to help me to sow God’s word.”
“Sometimes it will fall on deaf ears. The last thing some people want to do is turn to God.”
“But don’t lost heart: many will receive it with joy. In the end there will be a wonderful harvest?”
What kind of sower am I?
Adventurous? (Jesus, disciples, all ‘went out’, just as the sower did)
Prodigal? (seed sown everywhere, not just in promising places; some ‘insiders’ may find themselves on the outside, whereas many now on the ‘outside’ may be brought ‘inside’)
Expectant? (a spectacular harvest – ‘Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’)
What if in two thousand years time, followers of Jesus gather in some faraway place, not simply to remember him as a story-teller and miracle-worker, but to gather to celebrate him as a living presence, and then go out to sow the word themselves?