Mark 4:13-15

“Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?” (v. 13)

When was your last “Aha!” moment, when something you did not understand (or only thought you did) suddenly became clear? What made that “Aha!” happen? Did it take a devoted educator, determination on your part, or some shared commitment between the two?

Jesus teaches truth in every way possible, but his students are slow to grasp what he offers. Is his tone in verse 13 incredulous? Exasperated? Weary, like a teacher whose passion for the subject is met with vacant stares? Does he take a deep breath as he begins again, “The sower sows the word” (v. 14)? 

See him sweep his arm towards those who surround him in verse 15 to make it clear: “These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.” In his explanation about the seeds on these four varied plots of soil, hear a different wisdom than the Farmer’s Almanac offers. Realize that as he teaches, he is surveying the condition of their hearts. Are they prepared to accept his Truth? Are they ready to become the kind of ground that will receive this gift and flourish? 

What would it take for this familiar story to create an “Aha!” moment within us? Imagine Jesus gesturing in our direction and surveying the condition of our hearts. Hear him remind us that even though we’ve heard it before, we often miss the gist of his message. Accept his challenge and realize how many ways we reject what God offers. Ask how we might share God’s desire for our spiritual growth.


What keeps us from receiving God’s goodness?


Living Christ, open our hearts to live and to learn with you. Break through our confusion and keep us persistent, until we know your truth that leads us to life more fully. Amen.

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