Today’s Reading: Luke 8:4-15
He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'” (Luke 8:10)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus told a parable. He who has ears, let him hear, but even the disciples didn’t get it, so we get a freebie. The parables contain the secrets of the kingdom of God. And we take from this one an assessment tool. What kind of soil are you?
Never mind that Jesus couldn’t avoid the devil, I’m sure I have. Never mind our worries about money and family and politics, and definitely don’t mention that the cares and riches and pleasures of this life make up more of our prayers than any of the other petitions combined. And never mind if you’re not sure which petition I’m talking about or couldn’t list the Ten Commandments if your life depended on it. We go to church, so we must be the good soil. This is what’s wrong with everyone else. Seeing, we do not perceive, and hearing, we do not understand. What the Lord actually gives us is a list of all the reasons this thing shouldn’t work.
Jesus explains all the reasons the Church shouldn’t still be standing, all of the things we wrestle with, the enemies that assault every Christian this side of glory. But here we are. It defies the condemnation of the Law. It defies our reason and strength, or lack of both, because the Church doesn’t stand on us, but on Christ and His work. When we take this parable to be nothing more than an assessment tool, we start looking at ourselves instead of Jesus. Worse, we start looking at each other. Stop looking for yourself, and start looking for Jesus. It will make more sense. An assessment tool is Law. By works of the Law no man will enter the kingdom of God. This is not about the Law, it’s about the Gospel.
It’s about the sower who sows recklessly to those where no growth should happen. This is not just a warning to behave better and care less about the world. It’s a promise for sinners who don’t. God will not forsake you to the devil, your sins, or your earthly cares. He bears the Cross for you, forgives you, and dares to call you good. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Harrison Goodman is content executive for Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Discover new insights from each line of the Psalms in Engaging the Psalms: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer. Read, repeat, and return to the Lord as you walk through all 150 Psalms. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.