Monday, September 28, 2009

LITN VIII, Verses 1 - 15

1. After this experience at the Pharisee's house, Jesus traveled from one town and village to another, proclaiming a singular message...the good news of the Kingdom of God. As He focused entirely on doing this, the Twelve were with Him, as usual;

2. but there was also another group of disciples who accompanied Him...a large female following...women who had been released from the influence of rebel spirits, and cured of diseases through Him. This group consisted of Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven rebel spirits had been expelled;

3. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household, Susanna, and many others who are not named here. These women ministered to Jesus, and helped to support His ministry, financially, out of their own means.

4. One day, while a large crowd was gathering, and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He began to teach, using this illustration:












5. "A certain farmer went out to sow his seed, and as he was scattering it, some of it fell along the path. Whatever seed was not trampled under foot there was quickly eaten up by the birds.

6. Some of the other seed fell on rock, or gravelly ground, and when it came up, the vegetation quickly withered because it had no available moisture to sustain it.

7. Other seed that he scattered fell among thorns, which grew up right along with it, and choked the life out of the plants.

8. And still other seed fell on good soil that was conducive to growth. It came up as it should, and produced a beautiful, healthy crop...a hundred times, in fact, more than was sown." After He had said this, He added, "Whoever has a perceptive and discerning ear to hear, let him or her really hear this with comprehension."

9. His disciples weren't sure that they met that criteria, so they came to Him, privately, and asked Him to interpret His illustration.

10. So He said to them "Look...you've been given insight into the mysteries of God's Kingdom...a revelation of its inner workings, and an understanding of its day-to-day operation. You know more about it than you think you know. But those who can't see it yet, intrigued as they may be by My story-telling, only hear My stories as entertainment...that's all they are to them at this point...stories...'illustrations without introspection'...'metaphors without meaning'.

11. But I'll spell it out for you...the seed is the word of God.

12. Those along the path are the ones who hear, but the Adversary (or any adversarial individual or circumstance) comes and takes away the Word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and get results from it.

13. Those who are on the rock, or gravelly ground, are the ones who very happily receive the Word when they first hear it, but they have no root-connection to it...no real root in themselves, or sense of covenant relationship to the Word...and so they endure for a little while, but when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately become resentful and basically fall apart.

14. Then the seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear with comprehension...even with revelation...but as they go on their way, the daily cares and anxieties of the world wear them out, and they easily get distracted by the illusions of the age...looking for pleasure and false glamour elsewhere...being deceived by the empty promises of riches. Without even noticing it, the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and strangle the Word, so that they never really mature, fully.

15. But the seed on good soil stands for those who hear the Word and openly receive it, accepting the personal responsibility for their own soil-maintenance. They welcome it and have a mature relationship to it, and so they bear fruit and produce a bumper crop in their lives!"

19 comments:

karl cobos said...

Oh, I really liked this paraphrase today, maybe because just this past hour before coming here I've been so focused in my thoughts and reading on seed/words, really confirming to me and cool.

May the body of Christ's bride be open and happily receptive to His words...may we all conceive and bear wonderful fruit to the kingdom of God.

...for they are LIFE to those who find them, and health to one's whole body.
Guard your HEART above all else, for IT (your heart, your mind) IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE. Proverbs 4:22

Anonymous said...

Kevin Main said...

Bishop which translation of Fathers word are you using? I like the way this reads. I use the NASB, AMP and ESRV

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey Kevin...it's a paraphrase I'm writing called Luke In The Now...John In The Now was published a couple of years ago (available @ www.churchinthenow.org and on audiobook)...Matthew In The Now and Mark In The Now are finished, and as soon as I finish Luke, "The Gospels In The Now" will be published (all four in one volume, available before Christmas)...I post what I write as soon as I write it here on my main blog...I teach from many of the translations, including 2 of the ones you mentioned (not sure what ESRV is), but I like different ones for different reasons...

Northern Light said...

Hey Bishop,

I think people are beginning to "suspect" what they're getting from me this year for Christmas!.. Suspect as they will, they have no clue as to the TREAT they are in store for.

Write, write.....I have wrapping to do ~

Peace,
Northern Light

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Kevin...the intro to JITN was "Why Write a New Paraphrase of the Gospel of John?"...it's seven points...this is point #4:

4. Because I love the diversity among all the translations and paraphrases of the Bible.

Although I wholeheartedly reject the notion of an official “authorized version,” I do honor the grandeur and loftiness of the Bible that James, the King of England, authorized for his subjects to read in the 17th century (King James Version). That’s why I have memorized vast sections of it. And I love the way James Moffatt could turn a phrase in his translation. I could virtually live in The Amplified Bible with all of its shades of meanings and wordy explanations and parentheses and brackets. It’s like heaven to someone who loves exploring words and their meanings as I do. When I was young, Kenneth Taylor’s beautifully accessible Living Bible changed my life and set the course for my whole ministry. Many years later, Eugene Peterson’s daring paraphrase called The Message affected me nearly as dramatically. In recent years I have grown to respect the Today’s New International Version for its modernity and clarity and lack of religious sexism. In my opinion, it is probably the most accurate mainstream translation of them all*. But I also love the New English Bible and The Jerusalem Bible for other reasons. I am constantly referring to all of these translations for my teaching and writing, along with some other great ones not mentioned here. You may ask then, “If you love all these translations so much, why write a new one?” My only answer is that this writing is my way to pay homage to those who have already blazed this trail of translation before me. I could not do this if they hadn’t done what they did. But this translation is what I hear when I read and teach these chapters and verses. These are the things I have seen...what I have read between the lines...for the last 36 years of ministry, and I simply want to submit them to you, the reader, for your consideration.

Anonymous said...

Faith Symmons said...

I cant wait...look forward to it

Anonymous said...

Germaine Copeland said...

Jim, I hear your heart about the different translations! I love it!!!

Anonymous said...

Kevin Main said...

Thanks Bishop. When I was in Ozamiz Bishop Tommy recommended the In the Now series as well as your Daily in the now. I had just forgotten he told me about them...must be the jetlag or my 49 year old brain....lol. I will for sure order the all 4 in one volume. I too had the Living Bible in spite of my Church of God pastor who deemed it "satanic"....... Read Morelol!!! I mistyped on ESRV...its actually ESV english standard version which is pretty similar to the NASB. The one I have is published by Crossways.
Wished I could go back to Ozamiz in January while you are there for the conference, but hopefully when I can we will drive out to Conyers and enjoy one the services. Please check out my mentors website www.treeoflifeok.com Pastor Roy Richmond I think you will enjoy it. Be blessed Bishop!

Anonymous said...

Keith Mitchell said...

Hello...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, Faith...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I know you do, Germaine...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey, Keith...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, Kevin...It's amazing to me how people throw the word "satanic" around, when they don't have clue what they're talking about...I actually prefer the original Living Bible to the updated version of it (NLT), and I love the ESV...I'll check out the site...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of sowing good seed, The GITN collection will be exactly like that.

Love the dialog here.

This will no doubt make great christmas gifts as well as a potential for sowing the good news into the lives of many seekers who are looking for the Bible to speak to them with a current mentality of understanding.

The importance of taking responsibility for the maintenance of our own soil mentioned in verse fifteen is well stated. It is very helpful to relate to this from present mindedness. That is what this paraphrase will do for those who read it and study other versions along side it.

Among the greatest blessings in my life are some of the returned thanks received along the way for the seed of the good news that has been sown with my life. I just received one of those from an outstanding American citizen that I had given a Gideons New Testament to when he was a teenager. The gift of these writings will be a ground floor investment in many lives that will produce a great return.

Looking forward to its availability.

Johnny

Avatar said...

I was greeted by MercyMe's "The Love of God" as I entered here...which reminds me to say THANK YOU to Clariece [I hope I spelled that right] for her song. Judah and Pastor Brandi, too...an all around cool day for the Body of Christ...and the en-JOY-ing of those who flowed in their gifts...!

Looking forward to the song service...

Back later...

Anonymous said...

From the CITN blog:

Tom said...

Everyone brings something

For however long, it is a move of the Holy Spirit, Daniel 10:6, the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

karl cobos said...

Bishop,

I wanted to say "thank you" for what you did a few weeks ago when you expressed passion for the words in the Bible by kissing it, loving on it, and lapping it up like honey...never have seen such a thing but I think it is how we need to be, that we so crave it like that!!! To anyone offended we just say like Jan..."I'm so sorry honey, bless your heart!"

...and then Sunday when you mentioned about David's PASSION... like a lust...so excellent too...like us His bride, wanting to touch and be touched by God... beautiful.

SCRIBE said...

Amen !

Avatar said...

v.9 "His disciples weren't sure that they met that criteria. So,..." Nestled among the points of the parable, here lies a clue...the "childlike innocence" of the Twelve WAS in them already...they trusted and just went to Him and said "help us hear!"

v.10...classic Bishop Jim alliteration...love it!

But how cool is V.13?..."sense of covenant relationship to the Word"...this phrase has really stuck with me, rolled around, and invited viewing from every angle...faithfulness to...trust in...similar concepts but somehow covenant adds an element of "two", a loyalty, and reveals to me the responsibility that the Word has to me, too. I'm intrigued and it seems to be opening something in me but I can't explain it yet.