Daily Readings and Thought for February 8th. “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AS IF …”
Today’s 4th chapter of Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus “was teaching them many things in parables” [v.2] and Mark gives us 4 examples of the parables adding “with many such parables he spoke the word to them” and “but privately to his own disciples he explained everything” [v.33,34]. Only one of the explanations is recorded and that is the familiar parable of the sower and all the different kinds of hearts and minds into which the “seed” of his message is sown.
Sadly, for some, “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word” [v.19] and that is more than ever the case in many countries today, it certainly is in Australia.
The short parable in v.26-29 is one we might wish his explanation had been recorded, but perhaps the explanation can be specially applied to our 21st Century. The seed is scattered and “the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself …” [v.27,28] We saw this as telling us that the ultimate sower is God; are there other means by which he makes his message known? How does the “earth produce by itself?” All kinds of fertilisers are used today in producing literal crops. Is there a special illustration of this today in the way the internet now makes it possible for people of virtually all nations to have access to God’s message and be challenged by it? We suspect this is the case!
It is impossible for us to know many of the ways in which the message spreads, truly the sower “knows not how”! The phrase “the kingdom of God” occurs 3 times in this chapter because that is the heart of the message contained in the seed. All those who are dissatisfied with the kingdoms of this world are the ones who are most eager for God’s kingdom – and they pray with fervour, “Thy Kingdom come” Is that how you feel?