The Sower / James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894
We’ve all heard sermons on Jesus’ parable of the sower, told in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. He told the crowd, “listen if you have ears.”
Then he quoted from Isaiah 6:9-10. He told his disciples essentially that he told parables so people without spiritual ears would not understand.
Isaiah himself provides two parables about farming. Like Jesus’ parable, they seem like obvious facts about what farmers do.
Those with ears to hear, those who belong to God’s kingdom, can find important spiritual truths in them.
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The story of Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3) is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Pharaoh had ordered all Hebrew baby boys killed. Instead, Moses’ mother put him on a raft so Pharaoh’s daughter would find it, and then joined her household. Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s court with all of its privileges, but also with full understanding of his heritage. In his zeal for justice, he murdered an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, then fled. God met him in the burning bush forty years later. Sometimes the story’s very familiarity keeps us from understanding its meaning.… Read the rest