Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord

Posted on February 6, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 13:1-23 (NKJV)
13:1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
“On the same day Jesus….” So begins today’s reading. Immediately following His encounter with the Pharisees, we find Jesus being faithful to His calling. He cares for His people by giving them the most important thing, His Word.
While there may be particular details one may not understand, His people will “get it” when it comes to knowing that Jesus is their Savior from sin and death. That is because He sends His Spirit to call His people, to gather them, to enlighten them, to sanctify them, and to keep them in faith. Jesus leaves nothing undone when it comes to your salvation.
He makes that abundantly clear when He tells His disciples, “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear” (Matt. 13:16). Without God’s blessing, we would not hear His call to repentance and those wonderful words of forgiveness of sins. Without God’s blessing, we would not have the faith to see all that He does in our lives. Without God’s blessing, we would simply be deaf and blind to what God does.
During this season of Epiphany we are once again reminded that we are blessed with eyes of faith to see that Jesus is God come in the flesh to save us from sin and death. We are blessed with ears to hear how God has pulverized our stony hearts into good soil, wherein the seed of faith can flourish and grow. Indeed, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
We pray: Heavenly Father, keep us in the true faith. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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