NTI Mark, Chapter 4
(v 1 - 20) Once again, Jesus found himself by the lake with a crowd of people seeking physical healing. He asked his disciples to prepare a boat, and he stepped into it so he could be moved away from the shore. From there, he was able to talk to the crowd, because with him a short distance away, they quieted down to listen. Jesus knew that the people had not come to hear the good news, and yet it was the good news he yearned to share. Jesus bowed his head to give the circumstance to the Holy Spirit. He gave his willingness to do whatever Spirit would have him do. He was willing to go back into the crowd. He was willing to speak from the boat. He was willing to leave this place at once. When he had finished giving over all he thought to the Holy Spirit, he lifted his face, opened his mouth, and these words came out: "Listen!" There was a long and quiet pause, and then he continued with an authority in his voice that had not been heard before.
"A farmer went out to plant his fields. This farmer lovingly planted his seed everywhere, for to him, all soil was worthy of seed. As he scattered the seed, some fell along the path. 'This soil is worthy,' he thought. But as the seed lie, birds came and ate it up, so that no plants sprouted there. "Some seed fell on rocky soil. 'This soil is worthy of this seed,' the farmer thought. The soil there was rich and plants sprouted quickly. But the soil was not deep, so as the sun grew hot, the plants withered and died. "Some seeds fell among the thorns. 'This soil is also worthy,' the farmer thought. But the thorns choked the plants, and they did not bear grain. "Still other seed fell on good soil. 'This soil is likewise worthy,' thought the farmer. And the plants grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty and even a hundred times.
"Let him who has ears, hear. This is the message of our Lord. You choose which soil you shall be!" Jesus left the crowd by boat as they discussed this strange parable among themselves. The apostles were also puzzled, for the parable made no sense to them, and they knew their master had many good words he could have shared. "They did not come to hear my words," Jesus explained. "They came for healing. All healing is of the Holy Spirit, so I gave myself to Him, that I may be used. And it was His words you heard through me. I saw the image in my mind, and I described it as I saw it." The apostles did not understand.
"Listen," Jesus said in love. "Let me tell you fully what I saw. "Our heavenly Father is the farmer. He loves all of his children. His children may look at one another and see differences, but the heavenly Father sees none. To Him, we are all the same and equally worthy to know Him. "In this story, we are the soil. The seed is the Holy Spirit's Word. So our Father sows the seed on all of his children alike, seeing no differences among them. But within our perception, there are differences. Some of the children seem like the path. They have no interest in the Holy Spirit's words, and His Word does not sink into their hearts. That is the choice they have made, so we will let them go their way in peace.
"Some of our Father's children are like the soil in rocky places. They will eagerly join us and seem to love His Word. But when circumstances seem to get tough, they will turn away, because they do not seek the Father above all else. It is comfort they are satisfied with, so it is temporal comfort that they will continue to seek. We will let them go in peace and wish only blessings on them. "Some are like soil among thorns. The Word may spark some interest in them, but they are too preoccupied with the world to let it go and pursue the Word. Let them go in peace, with blessings and in love. "And the others are like seed sown on good soil, because they are ready for the Word at this time. They will come and work with us, live like brothers with us and join us in our work of sharing the Word."
(v 21 - 23) Jesus settled in with joy in his heart to continue teaching the deep truths he had learned from the Holy Spirit. "We must show ourselves to the people, that they may see our Light, for the Light within us is the Light of Heaven. It is within them too. By seeing it within us, they will recognize that it is within them, and the Light will extend within the world. "In this way and for this reason, the Light must extend within you too. For as the Light extends within you, it extends within the world." The apostles did not understand, so Jesus shared his message in another way. "Do you bring in a lamp and place it under a bowl or a bed to keep the light hidden? No. It is the light that must shine, so that which is in the dark can be revealed.
"This is how it is in truth. As the Light shines within your mind, thoughts of darkness are revealed. Let them be revealed, that they may be given up to the Light. In this way, the Light of God extends throughout the world!" The apostles marveled at how Jesus smiled as he spoke to them. "Surely," they thought, "this Light has extended through his mind."