RSVP

26 02 2011

I’m at the end of the selected readings from Luke so I thought I’d reflect on how people have responded to Jesus.  It fits in nicely with Jesus parable about the Sower and his seed; I’ll go there first.~

This parable is the only one that Jesus explains, so we can be sure about its meaning.  It’s back to the land again for the starightforward story – a farmer sows seed and it lands on different types of soil.  The type of soil determines the ability, or not, of the seed to grow and flourish.  There’s a path where seed gets trodden on or pecked by birds, rocky ground that only allows shallow rooting, thistles which, a bit like my allotment weeds, choke the plants as they begin to grow, and good soil where the plants can grow and be fruitful.

What is Jesus talking about?  Here’s his explanation – 

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.  The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.  And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

How did people respond to Jesus?  Well, there were the synagogue attendees in Nazareth who just couldn’t accept what Jesus was saying – the seed was trampled; there was Simon the Pharisee who invited Jesus to dinner presumably wanting to hear what he had to say, but in the moment his “rocks” of tradition and prejudice took over;  there were the people of “this generation” who didn’t want Jesus to disturb their equilibrium, who had more important things in life – the seed was choked.  Finally, we meet the unexpected – Levi the tax collector, the Roman army officer,  the woman with her perfume – all of whom leave their encounter with Jesus enriched and growing.

~

I recently read the autobiography of the “Dragon” Duncan Bannatyne.  There is an extraordinary moment in the book when he narrates an encounter with God and makes his response.  Please read it and RSVP.

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