Yesterday, one of our pastors taught on the parable of the sower. He rightly pointed out this was really the parable of the four soils. The sower never changed and the seed never changed… it was all about the condition of the heart of those hearing the Word. As I read today from Matthew 6, I saw this example of an unchanging sower continuing despite the unbelief of the audience. These first six versus really resonate with me and add further confirmation for yesterday’s sermon.
He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching. (Matthew 6:1-6)
Two amazing points come out of these six versus.
First, many will allow their preconceived assumptions to block them from growing. In this case, these people knew Jesus the Man for the first thirty years of His life. These are the years we do not have documented in the Bible. Knowing His perfection we know He was not some disobedient child but we also know that His time had not come. Until His moment in the Jordan river when the Spirit descended upon Him, He was fully man. The people of Nazareth allowed this early picture of Jesus to cloud their judgement of Him when He later returns now in His role of both fully man and fully God.
Second, the hardness of heart of the recipient, means nothing to the sower or the seed. Bryan emphasized this yesterday and I see it played out here at the end of verse six. Jesus did not allow their “unbelief” to impact Him or His message. He continued to heal the sick (to serve) and he continued to teach.
So what do I take away from all of this? If Jesus Himself can perform miracle healings and still deliver a message on deaf ears, how much more so should I expect to come across deaf ears in my ministry. In fact, these deaf ears were intentionally placed before Jesus as a way to demonstrate the appropriate reaction, keep on teaching.
Lord, thank you for demonstrating that your message is perfect even when not received by others. Thank you also for demonstrating that we should keep on sowing your Word, no matter the soil it falls on. We can help to till the hardened soil but we should never expect the seed to take until the soil is properly tilled and prepared.