The church of Christ’s day wanted you to believe that “love” was obedience to all the church rules. You were to show your love by how many times a year you fasted or how you washed your hands or how far you walked on the Sabbath or what you ate. By obedience to church rituals, traditions, Feast Days, holy days and services, you were to show your love to God.
Jesus came and revealed His love to God by ignoring the church rituals, traditions, Feast Days and services and instead put His love of God to work living the Ten Commandments. He did not covet His health to the detriment of others. No, He used His health for the good of humanity. He didn’t waste His time or money looking over the food to see if it was organic. He did not steal His time from those who needed it by sitting in church. He gave His time to the poor and needy, supplying their needs. He didn’t obsess over what name He or His Father should be called. Most who call themselves “Christian” today are so self-obsessed with themselves and what they believe, they are stealing time, money and emotions which God has given them to be used for the worthy poor. The expression of Love is demonstrated by keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly. Nothing else is love.
Mark 3:1 to Mark 4:34
Jesus went into the synagogue again, and a man with a paralyzed hand was there.
I doubt the man with the paralyzed hand was there on his own initiative. I doubt he would have been allowed in under “normal” conditions. He was a “sinner” and was to be excluded from God’s people. Yet, because Jesus was headed in that direction, I believe he was the guinea pig to bait Jesus. The leaders brought him in to watch very closely to see if they could accuse Jesus of “sin”: breaking church rules.
The people watched Jesus closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, intending to accuse him of doing something wrong.
That same attitude is still in our churches today. How we watch church members closely to see if they are measuring up to our personal or church beliefs. We just love sitting around accusing and looking for something wrong in others. Please folks, get out of your churches and go to Jesus.
He told the man with the paralyzed hand, “Come forward.”
Jesus was not going to let this opportunity slip by without proper action. He represented the love of God. Here was a man who needed God’s love. God doesn’t “use” people, the churches use and abuse people. Jesus makes sinners whole; the church makes them tools of theological abuse.
Then he asked them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do evil on Sabbath days, to save a life or to destroy it?” But they remained silent.
Simple question. Are all your rituals, services, traditions and names for God more important than doing good? Should we destroy life just to satisfy our church rituals, services and traditions? Then why are you sitting in church? Go and do as Jesus did.
Jesus looked around at them in anger, deeply hurt because of their hard hearts. Then he told the man, “Hold out your hand.” The man held it out, and his hand was restored to health.
This was not a self-righteous anger. This was not an anger from a personal hurt of pride or ego. Jesus was angry at their sinfulness. He was angry at their total disregard for one who was in need. Those who claimed to be representatives of the love of God were living like devils. These were the Sabbath-keeping, church-going, tithe-paying Christians of His day who were looking for the coming Christ. How prideful they were of their church. How totally ignorant of their duties to God.
Immediately the Pharisees and Herodians went out and began to plot how to kill him.
Yep, that’s about right. Jesus heals and the church leadership plots to kill. Church first, love - well, we will talk of love, but don’t expect us to actually demonstrate it to the poor, suffering and “sinful” around us.
Interesting to note, it is conjectured by some that the Herodians were a political party of the Jews working for the establishment of the house of Herod to be the legitimate ruler of the Jewish nation. The hatred of the Pharisees toward Jesus was so strong they were willing to unite with a group looking to Herod as their “messiah”. Which is a good possibility why the Herodians hated Jesus. They did not want Jesus on the throne. After all, He didn’t have the status of Herod. He just wasn’t “kingly” enough. He didn’t “look” the part.
Our churches are doing the same. They are uniting with the state in their hatred against the teachings of Jesus. Church and state will unite to destroy those of us who live by the teachings of Jesus to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life. It was because of the purity of Jesus the church killed Him.
So Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea. A large crowd from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from across the Jordan, and from the region around Tyre and Sidon followed him. They came to him because they kept hearing about everything he was doing.
At this early stage in the mission of Jesus, people were very interested in Him. After all, wouldn’t you want a king who could go into battle and every time a soldier was wounded or killed could heal or raise him back to life? How quickly they could conquer the world. The church was only interested in worldly honor and acquisitions. Living to honor God through obedience to His law - never!
As I look around at our churches today, I wonder if that same spirit has permeated church members also. I just don’t see any desiring to live as Jesus commands. Messianics are all hung up on words and ceremonies. Others on their church rituals and services. It is all about pride, ego and nonsense.
Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready for him so that the crowd wouldn’t crush him, because he had healed so many people that everyone who had diseases kept crowding up against him in order to touch him.
I wonder if Judas was trying to sell tickets? Jesus was not trying to “get away” from them, but to be where He could continue His love and service to them, without being crushed in the process. What are you doing with your life?
Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they would fall down in front of him and scream, “You are the Son of God!”
Today, preachers, evangelists and others are all vying for people to fall down in front of them screaming their praises. Have you noticed when one of your church rock stars comes to town how the churches mob them and the people raise their arms in praise to them? They fill expensive auditoriums, yet do nothing for your salvation or for the good of the people. Yelling out the name of Jesus, claiming He is God or anything else, has nothing to do with Christianity. It is all a show to take the eyes and minds of the people away from the teachings of Jesus to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life.
But he sternly ordered them again and again not to tell people who he was.
You won’t find any pastor, church leader or evangelist ordering people not to tell who they are. No siree, they want everyone to know who they are. They spend millions on advertising themselves and their religious organizations. Have you read your church paper lately? How un-Christ-like.
Then Jesus went up on a hillside and called to himself those whom he had decided on, and they approached him.
There will come a day when Jesus will again call to Himself those whom He has decided on, and they will approach Him for eternity. Those He has decided on are those who are willing to give up everything for Him. Those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. This they show daily by sacrificing the little things in their lives. They have lived as Jesus lived. They were not concerned about what “name” to call Him. They were not concerned about what traditions to hold to. They were not concerned about church. All they were concerned about was sitting at the feet of Jesus and living in obedience to the Ten Commandments.
He appointed the Twelve, whom he called apostles, to accompany him, to be sent out to preach, and to have the authority to drive out demons.
This “appointing” came after He demonstrated the life they were to live. He gave them the example of love, tenderness, kindness, sacrifice and grace to the poor and needy. They were willing to accept the “appointing”.
“For three years and a half the disciples were under the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. By personal contact and association, Christ trained them for His service. Day by day they walked and talked with Him, hearing His words of cheer to the weary and heavy-laden, and seeing the manifestation of His power in behalf of the sick and the afflicted. Sometimes He taught them, sitting among them on the mountainside; sometimes beside the sea or walking by the way, He revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Wherever hearts were open to receive the divine message, He unfolded the truths of the way of salvation. He did not command the disciples to do this or that, but said, ‘Follow Me.’ On His journeys through country and cities, He took them with Him, that they might see how He taught the people. They traveled with Him from place to place. They shared His frugal fare, and like Him were sometimes hungry and often weary. On the crowded streets, by the lakeside, in the lonely desert, they were with Him. They saw Him in every phase of life.” AA 17.
Interesting, Jesus did not appoint them to build churches, set up denominations, religious organizations or to teach what name to call Him. He didn’t even take them to church to train them. Get out of your church now and go walk with Jesus.
He appointed the Twelve: Simon (whom he named Peter), Zebedee’s sons James and his brother John (whom he named Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
The “appointed” were quite a variety from the socioeconomic Jewish population. None were priests or rabbis. None were “involved” with the church. There were two sets of brothers. One set of brothers were from a prosperous business and had no problem vocalizing their opinions. Matthew was a successful business man. However, his business was despised by the Jews (church), therefore, he was the “outsider” among them. Nathaniel was the religious one. Interesting to note, he was not in church praying when Phillip found him, but out in nature. He wasn’t a showman. He was the deep thinker. Thomas was the slow one. Always doubting. He was along for the ride, but! Judas, he was in it for the fame, glory and money. If he could make a profit off of Jesus, so be it. Simon the “zealot”, along with James son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus and Bartholomew are very seldom mentioned. Maybe they were not as “serious” at first and were “waiting” for events to unfold.
I find the twelve very interesting because they cover a wide range of human conditions. We all have our “reasons” to follow Jesus. Some to make money off of Him. Some to watch and see. Some looking for fame. Some are along for the ride and excitement. Some want to voice their opinions and try to manipulate church members for their own pride and ego. But through it all, if we stay with Jesus, over time one of two things will happen; either we will draw closer to Jesus and become more like Jesus, or we will continue in our own agenda and eventually betray God’s movement.
Jesus accepts all, but few will be “appointed” to eternal life. It is imperative that we look closely at our own lives to see if we measure up to the life of Jesus. This is very hard work. To humble the prideful spirit and acknowledge our own imperfections and the need to change is not easy. Yet, it is the only way we will make it into Heaven.
Then he went home. Such a large crowd gathered again that Jesus and his disciples couldn’t even eat.
Unlike today’s church leaders who are insulated from their church members, and do way too much eating.
When his family heard about it, they went to restrain him, because they kept saying, “He’s out of his mind!”
That is true, you know, He was “out of His mind”. Why? Because He had surrendered “His mind” to the Spirit of God. His family could not understand His behavior since it was not the behavior of the “good” church people. They wanted Him to act more like the church wanted Him to act. But Jesus could only live as His Father in Heaven wanted Him to live: The Old Testament life of perfection.
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem kept repeating, “He has Beelzebul,” and “He drives out demons by the ruler of demons.”
The truth of the Old Testament was so foreign to the church leaders, they had no idea what truth was. The church system they had developed did not exist in the Old Testament. They had completely reformatted God’s salvation, which had no physical “church”, and turned it into church systems, traditions, rituals and services. None of it had anything to do with eternal life. Therefore, since what they were seeing did not fit their understanding of obedience to God, it had to be from Beelzebul and demons.
In Daniel 11:14 we read, “The more violent ones among your people will rebel in order to fulfill this vision, but they will fail”. The “violent ones among your people” were the Maccabees who did not want to wait on God to provide deliverance from the Greeks. They took matters into their own hands. Their “religion” was more important than obedience to God. Even though their rebellion failed, the attitude they displayed continued on and eventually became the party of the Pharisees. Are you awake yet? They were the party of the “violent ones among your people”. They did not want to wait for God, but to take matters into their own hands. They put Jesus on the cross. “They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest.” (Wikipedia). They developed a rebellious church systemto satisfy their egos, pride and arrogance.They were not interested in humble obedience to God or His Ten Commandments.
So Jesus called them together and began to speak to them in parables. “How can Satan drive out Satan?
Since the Old Testament is to be our guide for what is right and wrong, nowhere in all the Old Testament will you find it recorded where demons drove out demons. It was always demons driving out the righteous. Therefore, if the leaders had looked closely at themselves, they would have noticed that they were filled with demons by driving out Jesus who was righteous.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a household is divided against itself, that household will not stand.
Look at kingdoms and nations throughout history. Every one of them that has been destroyed, overthrown, conquered or unable to stand was due to their first being divided against themselves. The USA Civil war was because the nation was divided against itself. The “religious” Democrats were not treating slaves as Christ wanted them to: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. It took the Republicans to free the slaves. Look at Nazi Germany. It was fighting against its own citizens, putting them to death through mass slaughter, which eventually brought about its demise. Look at the USSR. It was divided against itself by putting its own people to death through pogroms. It no longer exists. Now look at the USA again. It is becoming a nation against itself. It will not stand as a democracy. The Bible has predicted that it will become a dictatorship to give the citizens “peace and safety”. Only those nations that have lived according to the principles of the Ten Commandments have stood. But the world today is throwing out the Ten Commandments.
So if Satan rebels against himself and is divided, he cannot stand. Indeed, his end has come.
The only kingdom in the whole universe that is in unity with itself is God’s Kingdom. Every member of God’s Kingdom lives in voluntary obedience to the Ten Commandments.
On the other hand, Lucifer was the first to bring discord, rebellion and disobedience to the Ten Commandments. He brought into the universe the concept of “ME”. God’s Government is run on the bases of “WE”. Each serving the other. Lucifer wanted it his way and his way brought about pain, sorrow, destruction and death. Therefore, his government cannot stand. It will not stand. In actuality, at the end of time, the whole world will acknowledge that God’s Government and His Ten Commandments are just and righteous. The Ten Commandments will become the law of the world, all except for one: The fourth commandment. Therefore, they will condemn themselves as law breakers and will be legally destroyed by God.
No one can go into a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions without first tying up the strong man. Then he can ransack his house.
The devil is working hard to tie up the power of God. He wants to ransack the government of God. He wants to come into your life, your home, your business and your family and destroy it. If you let him tie you up with church, emotions, feelings, ego, pride and worldly affairs, you will be ransacked. But if you live in obedience to the Ten Commandments, God will not allow him to ransack your business, home, family and life. The devil can’t tie up God.
“Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.” COL 331.
I tell you with certainty, people will be forgiven their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, but is guilty of eternal sin.”
The only Agency given to convict the heart of sin is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when a person claims that the Agency convicting them of sin is of the devil, then they are no longer willing to listen to the Spirit of God convicting them and are eternally lost. God can’t forgive them since they have rejected the only Agency allotted to convict them of their sins. Therefore, they are unable to repent of sin. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sins. And do keep in mind, the Spirit of God was actively working in the Old Testament just as much as in the New Testament. “You stubborn people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.” Acts 7:51.
The book, “Change Your Life Biblically” was dictated and directed by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of convicting sinners of sin and to bring the sinful heart to repentance. Its purpose is to bring you into harmony with the government of God. Those who accept the convicting Spirit of God find their lives blessed, peaceful and full of joy. But those who reject it find their lives destroyed. Please, do not continue “opposing the Holy Spirit”.
For they had been saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Since they refused the message of the Spirit of God through Jesus, they rejected the working of the Spirit in their lives and accepted the spirit of demons. To them, right became wrong and wrong became right. They turned Light into darkness while continuing in the “light” of their dark, church rituals, traditions, ceremonies and services. Instead of searching the Bible in order to find out how to please God, they were searching church for a god that would please them.
Then his mother and his brothers arrived. Milling around outside, they sent for him, continually summoning him.
And yes, if you work for Jesus, the world will be constantly “milling around outside” you and “continually summoning” you to keep you from obedience to Jesus. Pay the world no mind.
A crowd was sitting around him. They told him, “Look! Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
Distractions will come, but we are never to pay the distractions any heed. Our commitment and obedience belong to Jesus and Jesus only.
He answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
Good question. Who is our family? Who are we to call “family”? So many call those in their church “brother and sister”. Even though we are to love everyone as Jesus loved us, “family” is another matter.
Then looking at the people sitting around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
That is a very small family today. Few are doing “the will of God”. Most everyone is doing their own will, following their own way, doing the will of the church. But the will of the church is not the will of God if it is not obedient to the will of God. The will of God is shown in the life of Jesus. 1 John 1:8-11. We are to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Jesus did not look to the church to find out His will or duty, He looked to His Father. Let us follow the example of Jesus.
Then Jesus began to teach again beside the sea. Such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the entire crowd remained beside the sea on the shore.
Oh, I see, He didn’t take them to “church”, He took them “beside the sea”. Beside the sea they could be in God’s “house” experiencing the beauty of God’s creation. Their eyes would not be dazzled by man (Mark 13:1), but by God. Why is it we allow the world to take our minds off of the wonders of God?
He began teaching them many things in parables. While he was teaching them he said, “Listen! A farmer went out to sow.
Interesting to note, He didn’t start out with a quote from a Greek philosopher. He didn’t start out with a famous saying from a rabbi. He started out with a simple, everyday occurrence, “a farmer went out to sow”.
As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and birds came and ate them up.
Many would think the farmer was wasting his seed. Today, we would have more environmentally acceptable equipment to make sure the seed stayed on the field. Amazing that Jesus did not chastise the farmer for such waste.
Others fell on stony ground, where they did not have a lot of soil. They sprouted at once because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, they were scorched. Since they did not have any roots, they dried up.
Definitely a waste of seed. If it were a hired hand doing that, a farmer today might fire him. Such waste! Didn’t Jesus know He was not teaching the right lessons?
Others fell among thorn bushes, and the thorn bushes came up and choked them out, and they did not produce anything.
Neighbors might think this farmer was drunk. Think about it. If he is supposed to be seeding his field, what is he doing in the thorn bushes. I am sure, as a good farmer, he had already cleared his field of rocks and thorn bushes. I am sure they were at least twenty feet from his field. After all, who wants thorn bushes and rocks in their fields? However, Jesus did not mention any of that.
But others fell on good soil and produced a crop. They grew up, increased in size, and produced 30, 60, or 100 times what was sown.”
Okay, finally, after 20 minutes or so, the farmer has got it right and knows where to throw his seed. What an ignorant farmer!
He added, “Let the person who has ears to hear, listen!”
I wonder if we are listening. Jesus didn’t berate the farmer for throwing his seed along the path or into the rocks or out into the thorn bushes. He didn’t ridicule him. I mean, think about it, the people must have been bewildered by this story. Was he really teaching them it was okay to waste their seed?
There have been times when I have been extremely bothered by the little “waste” in this ministry. I try very hard not to waste a penny. But I am understanding more and more, as the years roll by, that even “waste” has its part to play in the grand scheme of things.
When he was alone with the Twelve and those around him, they began to ask him about the parables.
I am sure the disciples were mystified. Jesus would not make a great king if He squandered the resources of His kingdom on such unproductive land. A King that couldn’t throw straight would not be respected.
He told them, “The secret about the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside, everything comes in parables so that ‘they may see clearly but not perceive, and they may hear clearly but not understand, otherwise they might turn around and be forgiven.’”
So the Kingdom of God is a “secret”. Churches claim to have the “key” to the Kingdom of God, but do they really? Jesus said they “see clearly” yet they do “not perceive”. They “hear clearly” yet they do “not understand”. It appears their seeing and hearing were not the problem. Churches today see and hear the Bible, but they are not understanding or perceiving what they see and hear of it. Why? Pride! Money! Ego! Like those listening to the parable, they were probably thinking, “I wouldn’t waste my seed!” “I would know where my seed was falling!” “I am a better farmer than him!” Yes, each were measuring themselves by themselves. They all heard the story correctly. They all saw it correctly. But how many understood it correctly?
Churches today talk about understanding the Bible. They talk about believing the Bible. They claim to believe that Noah actually built the Ark and that an actual world-wide flood covered the earth. They claim to believe in the actual, literal six-day creation week. They claim to believe God created all things. They even believe Jesus was a real person. But what they just can’t seem to believe, or understand correctly, is how to live in obedience to Jesus who taught us to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life. Seeing and hearing, they do not understand.
Then he told them, “You don’t understand this parable, so how can you understand any of the parables?
Without the Spirit of God to enlighten us and give us the wisdom to understand the Word of God, all the theological schools, colleges and universities of the world cannot teach you anything of God’s wisdom. They can mimic the words of Jesus, but that isn’t wisdom any more than a monkey mimicking the actions of people or a parrot mimicking words. They can do the action, but they have no understanding as to why.
As you read the following explanations of the parable you may think yourself wise, but don’t. Many will see and hear the words, but few will understand them because they don’t have the Spirit of God. Why? They have church to interpret the Word of God for them. They are not interested in putting the words into their own hearts. They do not believe they have to change their own lives.
Some people are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. When they hear it, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Many read the Bible, however, because they “go-to-church” the words are not comprehended for their own lives. Most do not want the words to reach into their hearts. They feel it is enough just to “know” the words, to have them stored in their minds. But Jesus said, we must love Him with all of our minds, hearts and souls. That means, after putting the words into our minds, we must then let the Spirit of God teach us how to apply them to our hearts. Then our “souls” will be living the words.
But as in the case where the seed was sown along the path, many leave it in their minds and do nothing with it. Satan comes along and snatches away the understanding and they are left with nothing but the husk. Their lives are destitute of eternal life. But since they go to church, they think they have eternal life.
Others are like the seeds sown on the stony ground. When they hear the word, at once they joyfully accept it, but since they don’t have any roots, they last for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, they immediately fall away.
I come across “stony ground” Christians all the time. They hear the “good news” and joyfully accept it. They think it is great that Jesus died for them and now they are “saved”. They show great joy, great happiness and make songs, write verses, and put on quite a show. But when the actual truth comes home to them that they must do something for Jesus, like live in obedience to His commands, they fall away. As long as they have the warm, fuzzy feelings and support of the “church” around them, wonderful, but when they are alone and tested by ridicule or worse, it isn’t for them.
Still others are like the seeds sown among the thorn bushes. These are the people who hear the word, but the worries of life, the deceitful pleasures of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word so that it can’t produce a crop.
This is most church members. They sit in church surrounded with thorn bushes and are unproductive for Jesus. As long as they sit in church they think they are producing for Jesus. After all, isn’t that what Jesus wants of us, to sit in church? The cares of this world, worries of making it big in the world, the deceitfulness of riches, getting a good education, all of it has choked out the fruit of action. They sit in church, but their fruit is in the world. They produce nothing for Jesus.
Others are like the seeds sown on good soil. They hear the word, accept it, and produce crops—30, 60, or 100 times what was sown.”
It is interesting to note that three out of the four throwings of the farmer were a waste of time and resources. Only one fourth of his efforts were productive. Jesus stated that very few would be saved. But the majority don’t believe Jesus. Most think they are the “few” and are saved because they go to church or believe this special verse or know that specific knowledge. They just don’t get it.
Then Jesus told them, “A lamp isn’t brought indoors to be put under a basket or under a bed, is it? It’s to be put on a lamp stand, isn’t it?
We are to be the light of the world. But if we take our “light” and shut it up inside a church, what a wasted light. A light is to lighten darkness. If you want to please God, don’t go to church, go to the dark places of the world and let your light shine.
Nothing is hidden except for the purpose of having it revealed, and nothing is secret except for the purpose of having it come to light.
The churches are trying very hard to hide the teachings of Jesus. They are always reading and quoting from Paul, Seldom will you hear them read or quote from Jesus. The devil has his apostles in charge of the churches. But God is trying to bring His Light into the dark teachings of the churches and illuminate their secret and hidden evils. Will they “understand”?
If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!
Not many have ears that listen. They are so full of themselves. They have the texts to prove this or that. They beat people over the heads with their own theology and beliefs. But they refuse to live as Jesus commands.
He went on to say to them, “Pay attention to what you’re hearing! You will be evaluated by the same standard with which you do your evaluating, and still more will be given to you, . . .
I pray that you are paying attention to what you are hearing. Few are. Most believe what they believe is the truth. Their eyes and ears are shut and that is that.
. . . because whoever has something, will have more given to him. But whoever has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.”
Those who are listening and understanding by living as Jesus commands, will be given more. The Spirit of God will be able to share more with them since it is their desire to change their lives. But those who go to church have nothing of God and everything they thought they knew will be a waste and taken away.
He was also saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground.
The Pharisees and church leaders wanted to hoard the “seed” in the basket of their church. They thought it was good enough to have the seed stored up in their church-barns. But Jesus teaches us that we are to scatter ourselves all over the world. Sitting in church is not the teaching of Jesus.
He sleeps and gets up night and day while the seeds sprout and grow, although he doesn’t know how.
When God called me to this ministry in 1997, I did not realize how much seed I would be scattering all over the earth. And yes, the seed is sprouting and growing, and I truly do not know of it. I just scatter and let the Spirit of God make it sprout and grow. Once in a while God allows me the privilege and joy of seeing a seed sprout and grow, but not often. I just know that it is God’s seed and He will do with it as He pleases. And yes, many do think I am wasting my “seed” throwing it on the pathways of prisons and the rocky grounds of jails. But God is finding good patches of soil there to produce fruit.
The ground produces grain by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
This ministry has scattered much seed in prisons. At first, I wondered if it would produce. But then I began receiving letters that showed the results of many stalks, heads and full grain. God has His “seed” and they are sprouting and producing.
But when the grain is ripe, he immediately starts cutting with his sickle because the harvest time has come.”
Many “full heads” have been cut, moved and sown in other plots of ground, then their seed begins to sprout and grow. I thank God for those inmates who allow the Lord to move them from place to place to scatter seed. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we never gripe or complain where He moves us. We just start scattering seed. Sometimes the ground may not look promising. It may be too wet, too dry or covered with rocks and weeds. But the Spirit of God is watching each seed that is “tossed” and He will do His job. We are to scatter and leave the results up to God.
Those not in prison, sitting at home wondering what they can do to be more productive for Jesus, try opening up your homes and holding Bible studies. Use the book, “Change Your Life Biblically” as a Bible study tool. Encourage family, friends and co-workers to come study with you. Build a supporting base for this little ministry. We never know where the seed will fall. But at least we are throwing it out.
He was also saying, “How can we show what the kingdom of God is like, or what parable can we use to describe it?
Jesus came from Heaven. The Kingdom of God was His home. Yet, He had a hard time trying to describe something that was “out of this world”. Parables are a good start.
It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. Although it is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, . . .
Many feel that they are too small, too insignificant to work for God. So they sit in church, at home or in a cell accomplishing nothing. This parable is for them. No matter how small you may feel your efforts are, if you get out and start planting, you will have success.
. . . when it is planted it comes up and becomes larger than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that the birds in the sky can nest in its shade.”
Many an inmate thought themselves too small to accomplish anything for Jesus. But soon, with a little watering by the Spirit of God, they became a large tree for other inmates to find rest, peace and joy.
With many other parables like these, Jesus kept speaking his message to them according to their ability to understand. He did not tell them anything without using a parable, though he explained everything to his disciples in private.
And that is the point, Jesus spoke to them according to their ability to understand. You don’t have to be a big-shot speaker or a “know-it-all” to share with others. Start simple. Start small. Start where the people are in their understanding and slowly move from there. God will guide you if you are doing it out of love for them. Leave your pride, ego and arrogance at home. Humbly offer yourself to God as His instrument and then go forth and sow in love.