November 2, 2021 – Mark 4: 10-20 – Even in Defeat, Faithful

Today we are reading from Mark 4: 10-20:

10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that
‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
    and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Today’s passage has a word that has kind of always sat funny with me.  At first glance, it seems as though Jesus is saying some folks just won’t get it, some folks won’t see it, and that’s just the way that it is.  I have struggled with that  

The key to understanding this passage, though, is to understand what Jesus says is a quote from God’s call to Isiah in Isaiah 6.  In this, God is telling Isaiah to go and preach. But guess what?  They aren’t going to listen to you. Their hearts are already hardened. They aren’t going to hear anything you say. 

So, what are you to do?  Be faithful.  Even in defeat, faithful. They don’t hear you?  Keep preaching.  They don’t respond?  Keep serving.  They turn away?  Keep loving.  

Our job is to be faithful.  Just like the sower.  His job was to scatter the seed, but then is it God that does the work.  Our job is to be faithful.  We don’t control their responses. We don’t control their actions.  We don’t control their words.  We don’t control any of that. Our job is to be faithful.  Even when it is hard and not going the way we would like. Be faithful.  Trust in God.  He controls the result. 

Child of God, be faithful. The rest is up to God. 

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