Many people were a part of proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God alongside Jesus. Do you see this as your role as a Christian?
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Recently when I read this passage the first 3 verses really stuck me because I hadn’t really noticed them before. Often when I read this passage I just went straight to the parable and the application of it and glossed over these verses. What I find really interesting is that there were women named as supporting and travelling with Jesus and the twelve disciples. I guess when I read this the first few times I didn’t think much of it because I was reading the passage with my 2018 world view where women are often helping and can support people physically and financially quite easily. Some of these women, like Susanna, were powerful women with big responsibilities and they were all helping to support the ministry out of their own means.
As a woman working in a position within the church to help support our ministry to Reach the City, Reach the World with the message of Jesus’ love I find this incredibly encouraging. We are all part of this ministry together. What a beautiful picture of these men and women working alongside each other travelling around the countryside visiting towns proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. This is what I have the privilege of being a part of every day, working alongside a team of men and women who are all proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. It’s not just those of us who work in ministry positions that get to be a part of this, we are all part of the ministry together, all playing our parts to share the gospel.
This also changes the way I read the parable that follows these first three verses. We are all part of the sowing of the seed (the word of God) in others’ lives. We all play our parts and sometimes the word of God takes root in people’s lives and produces a beautiful crop that we all get to enjoy in celebrating more people joining the family of God.
Head: When you read this passage the first time did the first three verses stand out to you? Why or Why not?
Heart: Do you see yourself as part of the team spreading the good news of the kingdom of God?
Hands: What can you do today to support the spreading of the good news? It could be financially or physically. Maybe it is sharing the good news with someone around you today.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you we have had the good news of your kingdom proclaimed to us through your son Jesus. Please help us as we play our parts to support the proclaiming of your good news, salvation through your son Jesus, through his death and resurrection for our sins. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
A song to listen to: This Life I Live
Emily Andrews- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- South Bank