8:30 a.m. Tuesday May 23, 2023. 60F/15C.
Cool. The propane heater came on in the early morning. With windows thrown wide open, its thermostat lit the fire bricks. Two raccoons had been in the bird feeder, one precariously clinging to bark halfway up the tree trunk, attempting to jostle the feeder empty, the other happily cleaning up seeds that fell down below. A few words shouted from the window, encouraged them to leave. Now sunlight filters through the tree leaves, creating patterns on the ground. There is an odd odor in the hollow. Several deep breaths are taken under one certain gum tree. The air there is more fresh than elsewhere, with that wonderful bitter green scent of the tree. Small birds are busy tweeting out short songs. The air is cool.
The Gospel of Matthew, chapter thirteen
Heavenly Father, grant us your meanings in your word as we read. Love us and let us dwell in your peace. In the name of Yeshua, I pray. Amen.
The setting was Capernaum, near the sea of Galilee. Yeshua, Jesus, had just finished preaching a sermon that left many pondering, asking, “What did that mean?”. Yeshua later explained to his disciples the meanings of his parable. He was done with teaching many of the people who had come to Capernaum to watch him. They had already made up their minds to follow him or to reject him. They were there to simply enjoy the show. Teaching in parables allowed Yeshua to speak to the disciples on a subject, and speak only to those who would understand the code.
“Therefore you must hear the parable of him who sows. He who sows is the preacher. And the seed is the word of YHWH.
“He who hears the word of YHWH but does not understand it – ha-satan comes and uproots it from his heart. And this is the seed that fell close to the road.
“And that which fell between the stones is he who hears the word of YHWH and receives it with joy, however, he does not have a root and dries up quickly, for through indignant speech they are immediately confused.
“That which fell between the thorns, is he who hears the word of YHWH, but he has sighings about this world – to gather, and it strangles some of the word of YHWH which was sown in his heart, and it does not produce fruit.
“But that which fell in the good ground, is he who understands the word of YHWH, and obeys it, and produces fruit and good works, one has a hundred, and one fifty, and one thirty.”hebrewgospels.com Matthew, page 52, translation by the Van Rensburg family
- hear = in Hebrew this word meant “hear and act” or “hear and understand” or “hear and obey”
- parable = a story that is a comparison to life, Yeshua sometimes called these stories “comparisons”
- YHWH = Might be the proper name Yahweh, the proper name of God
- ha-satan = literally “the accuser”, God’s enemies
- indignant speech = cussing
- sighings = anxiety
- sighings to gather = worries about earning an income, or gathering food, shelter, and clothing
A certain man went out to sow his seed. He who sowed was the preacher, Yeshua, Jesus. The seed was the word of YHWH.
Some seeds fell by the road and then some of the birds came and ate them. Those seeds were the people who did not understand God’s word and had no intention of ever understanding God’s word. They were not seeking God. The birds were demons who reinforced their lack of desire to seek God by simply telling them that what they were told was not so.
Some seeds fell in a place of stones where there was not much soil. They sprouted immediately, but when the sun shone upon them, they withered right down to the exposed root. The reason these plants, the word of God, did not survive in those hearts that loved the word? Indignant speech. People who do not use their own mouths to speak productively, do not produce. Boom! Produce gone.
Other seeds fell between thorns. Thorns grow as tall as four, five, or six feet tall. As fast growers, they keep the nearby plants from receiving sunlight and nutrients from the soil. This is the person who hears and obeys, but lets the worries of daily living take precedence over God’s word. Only half of God’s word took root, which is not enough to produce fruit.
Other seeds fell on good ground. The seeds grew into plants that produced fruit of varying amounts, according to the plant producing. Those were the people who heard and understood and acted upon God’s word when they heard it.
There are three reasons, Jesus, Yeshua said, that God’s word can be ineffective in a person’s life:
1. The word of God was not believed or understood in the first place
2. The person believed, but cursed himself
3. The person believed, but let daily activities of living took a higher priority than God’s word
And even for those who did hear, understand, believe, the produce was not exactly the same. People simply produce fruit when they hear and act upon the truth of our Lord.
Life in the hollow, Tuesday
I’ve stopped listening to several modern prophets, teachers, and preachers because I am trying to stop myself from something I call “soft cussing”, and many Christian public figures have not stopped the soft cussing. First reason, I don’t want them influencing me to start up cussing again and second reason, I don’t want to consume the word of God and human feces in the same spoonful. I’m talking about words that refer to human feces being used as spoken alternatives to expressing one’s true emotions.
I call words that refer to human feces soft cussing. Regular cussing is all them words that refer to random sexual relations and random condemnations. Hard cussing would be calling the judgment of God or the judgment of man down on another person.
It doesn’t matter which form of cussing someone uses, that person is not as effective as he/she could be.
Sighings about this world.
I got up this morning and did half my prayers, washed laundry so that I could hang it out in the sun as soon as the sun rose, and then intended to finish my prayers, which I did. However, I stopped halfway through prayers and asked our heavenly Father if it was OK with him that I already did it that way.
His voice was polite, but no, it wasn’t OK to put my relationship with him anywhere but first. And then I read the above scripture. Right. Should have read that first. But I didn’t do that because I was busy with the sighings of life.
If I don’t produce fruit, I truly know why.
That is what repentance is for.