What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus commanded people to “Listen!”
- We need to take the time to really listen to what people are saying and not just assume that we already know.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus had a core group of disciples who he poured into.
- We need to be a part of a core group of people that we are pouring ourselves into and that are pouring themselves into us—a LifeGroup or something similar.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
v 3. Never seen it before: “Listen!” They were gathered around him presumably TO listen…why would he start with that command? Perhaps because, as he says several more times in the chapter, we have ears…we hear but we do not really listen. Because of what God is teaching me right now about relationship, I am REALLY trying to listen to people. A couple of times recently, I asked people to explain more what they had said…or commented on a non-verbal that didn’t seem to jibe with their response of “fine.” It led to some very precious, deeper conversations. “LISTEN. Really listen to what I’m going to tell you,”Jesus says.
Again, never seen it before…how many “seed”parables there are in this chapter. The image of a sower casting seed promiscuously…knowing that SOME will respond and many others will not…reminds me that I don’t concern myself with the harvest; that is the Father’s job. I just better cast the seed.
Notice the difference between crowds and core. Jesus teaches the crowds…but explains and ministers to and spends more time with the core. In fact, parables themselves seem to divide between two groups. Those who are so hard hearted, thick-headed, tin-eared that they don’t really LISTEN and hear what Jesus is getting at…so the parable reveals their hard hearts…and those who do hear, do receive and do put into use. No different than today.
A discipling tip from the text: decide who your core are…and pour yourself into them. That is how the gospel will be proclaimed.