Yaqin has not believed in the Lord for very long. She likes reading the Bible very much. One day, she turned to Matthew 13:3-8 and read, “And he spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell on stony places, where they had not much earth: and immediately they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred times, some sixty times, some thirty times.” She also saw many parables in the following several verses (See Matthew 13:24-33), such as the parable of the tares, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the leaven, and so on. After reading these parables, she thought: “Why did the Lord Jesus always speak parables when He preached to the disciples? What was His will behind the parable of the sower?”
The next afternoon, Yaqin’s husband Han Lei, who had been away from home and preached, came home. Then Yaqin told him about the confusion she had when she read the Bible yesterday. Her husband said, “Recently I happened to read a passage of God’s words on a gospel website with several co-workers. I think it’s helpful toward you resolving this problem.” She said excitedly, “Really? Let me see it.” Han Lei dropped his work and swiftly turned on the computer to open the web page, and they sat before the computer to read these words.
God’s words say, “The first one is the parable of the sower. This is a really interesting parable; sowing seeds is a common event in people’s lives. The second is the parable of the tares. As far as what tares are, anyone who has planted crops and adults will know. The third is the parable of the mustard seed. All of you know what mustard is, right? If you don’t know, you can have a look through the Bible. For the fourth one, the parable of the leaven, most people know that leaven is used for fermentation; it’s something that people use in their daily lives. All of the parables … are all drawn from people’s lives; they all come from people’s real lives. What kind of picture do these parables paint? This is a picture of God becoming a normal person and living alongside mankind, using the language of a normal life, using human language to communicate with humans and to provide them with what they need. When God became flesh and lived among mankind for a long time, after He had experienced and witnessed people’s various lifestyles, these experiences became His textbook for transforming His divine language into human language. Of course, these things that He saw and heard in life also enriched the Son of man’s human experience. When He wanted to get people to understand some truths, to get them to understand some of God’s will, He could use parables similar to the ones above to tell people about God’s will and His requirements of mankind.”
After reading this passage, Yaqin became immersed in thought.
Han Lei said, “From God’s words we can see that the intention of the Lord Jesus when He preached to the disciples in parables was to allow them to understand His words and different aspects of the truth. By using human language and parables, He expressed God’s will to the disciples; by speaking this way, He made them feel that He was very close to them. Therefore, they all liked and wanted to listen to His preaching. In this way,of the kingdom of heaven spread around. When the disciples heard the preaching of the Lord Jesus and prayed in His name, they would receive His grace and blessings. Moreover, since we mankind do not have the organ to receive the truth, if the Lord Jesus didn’t speak parables in preaching, the disciples couldn’t better understand His words. Just like the parable of the sower, we are familiar with sowing seeds; farmers sow seeds every spring. It is a common thing in our daily life. The Lord Jesus used human language and everyday language to express His words, so that the disciples understood them easily. From this, we can see that the Lord Jesus put a lot of thought into His preaching, thus making the disciples better understand His words and put His teachings into practice and gain God’s salvation. This embodies God’s love for mankind.”
Yaqin agreed: “Mm, now I understand a little from your fellowship. The Lord came to earth to live among men and preach the gospel of the heavenly kingdom using human language and the parables for the purpose that the disciples could better understand His words and practice them.”
Han Lei thought for a while and continued fellowshiping, “Yes, we all know that these parables are all centered around the kingdom of heaven. Just as the Bible says: ‘When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundred times, some sixty, some thirty’ (Matthew 13:19-23). From this, we can see that there is no life in all those seeds falling beside the way, sown into stony places and among the thorns, and that they are unable to bear good fruits. The Lord’s will behind this parable is for us mankind to accept His words and His way in our hearts, and to understand His will and the results He sought to achieve in saying these words. If we can treat every word the Lord said earnestly and practice according to His words, we are the good seeds that bear fruits and we can enter God’s kingdom in the end. If we only listen to the Lord’s preaching but don’t understand His words, then we are unable to carry out His way; when someone deceives us, we would abandon the Lord’s way because we don’t understand His words, just like the seeds sown beside the way. If we listen to the Lord’s preaching but don’t act according to it, and we are pre-occupied with worldly matters every day, emphasizing eating, drinking and being merry, and pursuing reputation and position, in the end we would have no results and could only be eliminated just like the seeds sown into the stony places or among the thorns. At this point, I think of the condition of us Christians. Though many people listen to the Lord’s preaching, how many of the Lord’s teachings are in our heart? There are some people who can follow the Lord and practice a few of His words when His grace always accompanies them, but who then cannot stand witness for the Lord and even don’t believe in Him and betray Him as soon as they encounter calamities such as the persecution of their unbelieving relatives or the CCP government; there are also some people who cannot hold to the Lord’s words when faced with the temptations of wealth, fame, and status, and who will depart from the Lord’s requirements and walk the path of the worldly people, thus becoming indifferent to the Lord’s preaching in their heart. These two kinds of people are just like the seeds sown beside the way, into the rocky place, and among thorns. Only those who can overcome these temptations and tests and keep walking in God’s way can follow the Lord to the end. Only they are the good seeds sown into the good ground.”
Yaqin nodded and said, “Right! Thanks be to God. From your fellowship, I come to some understanding of the parable of the sower and the reason why the Lord preached to the disciples in parables. I am willing to be a seed sown into the good ground, listen carefully to the Lord’s words, and practice the way of the Lord because the Lord Jesus said, ‘but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). Therefore, only those who obey the teachings of the Lord can enter into the kingdom of heaven in the end. I must strive to pursue being such a person.”
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