The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
 "The cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word"

Scripture:  Matthew 13:18-23

18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is  what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately  he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it  proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
Meditation: How good are you at listening especially for the word of God? God is ever ready to speak to each of us and to give us understanding of his word.  This parable of Jesus is a warning to those who hear and who preach the word of God.  What makes us ineffective and unresponsive to God's word? Preoccupation with other things can distract us from what is truly important and worthwhile.  And  letting our hearts and minds be consumed with material things can easily weigh us down and draw us away from the treasure that lasts for eternity.   God's word can only take root in a receptive heart which is docile and ready to hear what God has to say.  One lesson is clear: the harvest is sure.  While some seed will fall by the wayside and some fall on shallow ground and never come to maturity, and some be choked to death by the thorns; nonetheless a harvest will come.  The seed that falls on good soil, on the heart that is receptive, will reap abundant fruit. Are you teachable and eager to learn God's truth? And do you allow anything to keep you from submitting to God's word with joy and trusting obedience?

"Lord, help me to guard the word you have planted in my heart that no doubt or temptation may keep me from believing and obeying you.  May I be fruitful in your service and may I never fear to speak of you to others and to share with them the good news of the gospel."


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager