Isaiah 56-58

2 Thessalonians 2

“Then [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.” —Matthew 13:3

Jesus taught many things through parables. One parable in particular was about a farmer going out to sow seeds and, depending on the circumstance, each seed had a different result. The first seed fell along a path and birds came and ate it up. To this, Jesus explained, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path” (Matthew 13:19).

What we learn right from the outset is that the seed is the message of the kingdom and the path is someone’s heart. The first person that Jesus points to is the calloused or hardened heart; they hear the words that are coming out of His mouth, but they do not understand what He is saying; it is not penetrating into the depths of their lives. Jesus is warning about those who are calloused in heart such that when His Word comes, it just deflects off that soil. He is not necessarily diagnosing why this happens in a person’s heart; He is simply stating that it does happen.

In Jesus’s parable, He is speaking about the calloused heart, the person that is forever resistant to the truth of who Jesus is possibly because they are confident that their way is a better way or they are not satisfied that God is not conforming to their desires. This describes the first 23 years of my life. I went to church almost every Sunday and probably heard hundreds, if not, thousands, of sermons in my life. But through my teenage and even young adult years, the seed was being dropped on a path and could not penetrate into the depths of the soil—my heart. Maybe some of us reading this devotion are in that place: we could be reading these devotions but not quite understanding the truth being taught.

Jesus not only speaks to the state of their heart; He also points to another reality that is happening. The evil one comes and snatches away what was sown so that when the Word falls on that person’s heart, there is actually a spiritual force that comes along and takes it away. When someone hears but ignores, the evil one comes and takes the seed away so that the roots cannot go into

that person’s life. There are other forces, spiritual forces that want to distract us from the truth held out in God’s Word.

May we allow the truth of God’s Word to penetrate our hearts and do its transformative work in our lives, not letting this opportunity be stolen from hearts that may be calloused.

Gracious Jesus, I open my heart to receive Your Word. May Your seed penetrate deep into my heart and transform my life. Thank You, Jesus

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