Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’ “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
Food For Thought:
One of my favorite Biblical characters, Mary Magdalene, is mentioned in this passage of Scripture. If you don’t know the back-story on Mary Magdalene, it is an interesting one. She is one of Jesus’ closest followers and is part of a large Christian movement in the first century after Jesus’ death and resurrection. What is interesting about Mary Magdalene is that her history has been rewritten and much of it has been fabricated. She was never a repentant prostitute; the Bible only says that she had seven demons come out of her. People were threatened by her power and her tenacity so they rewrote her background story. Have you ever rewritten your story? Has someone else ever rewritten your story? If you were to write your story today, how would your story be before your relationship with Christ and after? If you have always been a Christian, how has God worked through your faith journey?
Beckoning God, as you moved in the lives of the early disciples, move in our lives, inviting us to journey to unknown territory, to listen for your voice, and to speak your prophetic word in a world that does not want to hear, empowered by your Spirit, grant us the courage we need to journey, trust, listen, speak, and accept your commission to be your faithful servant people. In your holy name we pray, Amen.