Among The Thorns

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Jesus always talked in parables as he preaches to his disciples and others, then Jesus said to them. “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand the word? Some people are like seed along the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes the word that was sown in them. Others like seed sown in rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word, but the worries of this life the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:13-20

The third kind of soil was overgrown with thorns. This Palestinian farmer was lazy. He cut down the thorn bushes, so the land looked clean and the thorns seemed to be destroyed, but the roots were still there. As time passed, the thorn bushes grew back to their former abundance. The weeds grew so quickly and zealously that they choked the life out of the seed. It is easy to cram life with so many interests that there is no time for Christ. The more complicated our life becomes, the more necessary it is to get our priorities right.
Finally, there is the seed that is sown in “good soil” so that it can thrive. If we really want to learn from this parable, there are a few things we must do. We must hear, and we can’t hear unless we listen. We are often so busy talking and arguing that we forget to listen. It is necessary that we receive the message, it must be absorbed by our thoughts. Then we must put into action. The harvest was thirty, sixty, and even hundredfold. It was asking a lot, but the volcanic soil in Galilee was very fertile. Christian faith must always culminate in action. The Christian is challenged, not to speculate, but to act. Sow the seed and leave the rest to God. Then you are sure of the harvest.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Denied

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Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times!                               John 13:37-38

Wow! these are hard words for Peter to hear from Jesus especially after reading Matthew 16:13-16 when Peter declares that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and now to hear that he will deny this same man. However Jesus knew what was about to happen even thro Peter did not. Let’s visit that evening with the disciples, it was after Jesus was arrested, John 18:15-19 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you? she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them warming himself.

Second time and Third Time-John 18-25-27 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him,” You aren’t one of the disciples too are you? He denied it, saying, “I am not. One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden? Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow. And he went outside and wept bitterly.  Matthew 26:69-75                                                                                                      It can be hard to imagine the pain that Peter was feeling inside of himself at that very moment or is it? Haven’t we at one time or another in our own lives disown Jesus ourselves, thinking to ourselves I don’t need you God, I can do it all on my own, but we truly can’t, can we?  Jesus did warned his disciples in John chapter 16:16 In a little while you will see me no more, and than after a little while you will see me.” Yes Jesus was talking in parables once again but his disciples could never imagine what was about to take place to someone they all came to know and love so well was about to be crucified, and that one of their own Judas Iscariot was going to be trade Jesus. This was the very reason that Jesus came into this world to save us from our sins. The prophet Isaiah foretold what would happen.

Isaiah 53:3-5 (NIV)

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his stripes we are healed.

Jesus love you and I so much that he took our place on the cross, so that we would never be separated from God because of our sins.

 

Grace and Peace to You my Friends