1. On the same day Jesus went down to the beach and simply sat by the water to meditate in solitude.
2. But when the people saw that it was Him, they began to gather around Him in such great numbers that He got into a boat and remained sitting there, while the huge crowd stood on the shore and stared at Him in silent expectation.
3. And so He began to teach by telling them many things in didactic allegories or parables, saying, “A sower went out to sow.
4. And as he sowed, some of his seed fell by the side of the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
5. Still other seeds fell on rocky ground, where the soil was so shallow that it was virtually nonexistent; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
6. But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root system to nourish and anchor them, they just dried up and withered away.
7. And other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and suffocated them.
8. But other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded healthy grain. Some produced a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty.
9. He who has spiritual ears, let him listen and let him perceive, discern and comprehend by spiritual hearing."
10. After the conclusion of this teaching, His disciples came to Him and asked, “Why do You speak to them by telling these stories?”
11. And He replied to them, "I have unveiled the secrets of the Kingdom of/from the heavens to you first, but not to others yet.
12. You see, this is the way it (the Kingdom) works…everyone who uses what he/she already has within himself/herself (because the Kingdom is within you) will attract even more to himself/herself. But people who don't utilize what they already have within, will lose even what little they have already manifested without.
13. When I teach, I use allegories, or “stories”, as you call them, because they force my listeners to activate their inner vision, and to hear My words in their spirit. When they look only with the natural eye, they cannot see, and when they listen only with the external ear, they cannot hear or understand.
14. In this sense is the process of fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.
15. For this is about what is happening right now in this nation…and this nation's heart has grown grossly fat, their collective mind has become dull, their ears are heavy with prejudice so that they have difficulty in hearing, and their eyes they have intentionally and tightly closed. If this were not the case, they could see and perceive, they could hear and comprehend, and, most importantly, they could grasp and understand with the heart what can never be seen or heard with eyes and ears. If they allowed for this kind of insight and perception, I could turn and easily heal every one of them of the disease resulting from their self-inflicted blindness and deafness.
16. But you are blessed in spite of all that because your eyes have chosen to see, and your ears are purposefully open so that you can actually hear what I am saying now.
17. You don’t even realize the full impact of this, but it’s true anyway…many prophets and seers…righteous men and women of old who longed to see into the future…actually yearned to see what you are seeing right now. They believed for it, but did not see it. They wanted to hear what you are hearing, but they were not able to connect with it.
18. So listen with your heart, then, to the meaning of The Tale of the Sower:
19. You see, while anyone is hearing the Word of the Kingdom with nothing but the external ear, they fail to grasp and deeply comprehend it. So when something or someone who is adversarial to the Word that they have heard, challenges their revelation of it, that adversary is like an evil one who comes and snatches away the seed that should have been sown in the heart. Regardless of how much life-potential the planter scatters, when the seed remains un-sown…when it just sits lightly on the surface…it is vulnerable to enemies. This is symbolic of what was sown along the roadside.
20. As for what was sown on the thin and rocky soil…this is a similar issue. This represents the one who hears the Word (even beneath the surface), because he/she actually has the ability to comprehend the Kingdom on a deep level. So immediately this one welcomes and accepts the Word with joy, and embraces the revelation of it.
21. But even though he/she can recognize and receive Kingdom revelation, this person has no real internal root system, because he/she has formed no genuine relationships in the Kingdom. As I have already told you, the Kingdom comes in corporate revelation, so the “roots” here are the relationships that nourish and anchor an individual. So, because this one is isolated (and therefore rootless), he/she is inconstant, and only lasts a little while. When affliction or trouble or persecution comes to challenge the Word, at once he/she is caused to stumble, and just falls away because of his/her own disconnection.
22. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he or she who truly “hears” the Word…this one has both the required roots of relationship and the desired depth of discernment. But even though this one has everything that is needed, he/she fails to consistently get rid of what isn’t needed. And so the cares of the world…the wrong perception of the daily duties of life… and the deceitfulness of riches…the wrong idea that riches are something external…simply choke out and suffocate the God-breathed Word. In this case, someone who obviously should be fruitful and flourishing becomes bleak and barren, just by ignoring regular, basic garden maintenance.
23. And as for what was sown on good soil, this is he/she who hears the Word with the heart, or with spiritual ears, and grasps and comprehends it! This is the one holds onto their roots and gets rid of their weeds (they keep the relationships and let go of the cares), instead of the other way around. This one indeed bears fruit, and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty. In other words, a person’s harvest is ultimately determined by the quality of their soil, not by the amount of seed that is sown into them."
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
MITN XIII, Verses 1- 23
Verses 1 - 11 were previously posted on the comments page: