7 Temmuz 2012 Cumartesi

Explaining the Parable of the Sower to a Chinese Student

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     My husband and I have been reading the Bible with international students for over a year.  Besides explaining difficult terms to them, sometimes their questions give opportunities to  share an illustration. Last week we were reading Luke 8 and our student admitted he didn't understand what that chapter was talking about.  He knows I like gardening, and so it was easy to point out that when the Lord spoke  to people their hearts were like different kinds of ground.  I summarized for him what I had learned about the  different types of ground from my  Recovery Version of the New Testament.

"And as he sowed, some seed fell beside the way, and it was trampled
             underfoot, and the birds of heaven devoured it." Luke 8:5                                
 Let's say I had a bunch of seed and  then started to scatter it, the Bible says some of it fell on the wayside--that's ground that's near the side of the road and because people walk on it so much, it gets packed down.  So if seeds fell on it, it would be hard for them to penetrate the ground.   That's like letting worldly traffic make our hearts hard so the Lord's word can't get in. 

"And other seed fell on the rock, and as it grew, it
withered because it had no moisture." Luke 8:6
Then some of the seed landed in the rocks, and in that kind of ground  it's hard for the seed to grow very well. This is a picture of a daisy that is growing between two rocks in my rockery.  The soil is very shallow and because of that the  the plant's roots can't grow very deep.

I pointed out to him that out by my compost bins were a lot of dandelions.  I told him that if a seed landed in there, it wouldn't get enough light or food, the weeds would crowd it out so it would  die. Mark 4:19 says the thorns  are the anxieties of life or all the cares that rob us of the time that we could be spending  getting spiritually nourished.  
"And other seed fell in the midst of thorns, and the thorns
grew with it and choked it off. "                           Luke 8:7

That evening we were sitting at the dining table that looks out on the backyard, and because we live in the Northwest, my yard is full of flowering bushes, flowers, and my small garden.  So I told him if a seed landed out there, it would grow because that's good ground.  This is a picture of the calendula flowers that are part of the border that goes around my garden.  I like the footnote in Mark 4:28:  "...the good earth (v. 8) signifying the good heart that was created by God (Gen. 1:31) so that His divine life can grow in man.  Such a good heart works together with the seed of the divine life sown into it, allowing the seed to grow and bear fruit spontaneously for the expression of God...."       
And other seed fell into the good earth, and when it grew,
 it produced fruit a hundredfold...."                        Luke 8:8

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