Skip to main content

"Other Fell on Good Ground, and Did Yield Fruit," Mark 4:1-20

Mark 4:1-20

Here now, the Savior explains why the words of Christ doesn't work for everyone. While the parable is given in fairly straight forward terms (it's this, that, or the other), as I've reviewed, I find within myself different types of ground at different seasons, depending upon how well I've prepared myself to receive the words of Christ.

Types of Ground:
  • Wayside - The Savior says that when the word is sown here, "Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." (vs. 15
  • Stony Ground - Slightly different in its reception, the word here is received immediately with gladness. However, they are not able to establish roots and so the word has a time limit and is set to expire. Here it is after the expiration of the word or seed that "when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended." (vs. 17)
  • Among Thorns - Here too, the word is also received, but it is surrounded by weeds such as "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things." (vs.19) These cause the word, though it grows here, to be unfruitful. Perhaps, it is noteworthy that in this state, the thorny weeds can be pulled.
  • Good Ground - This represents those that hear the word and receive it. Such bring forth fruit, in varying degrees and quantities. (vs. 20
As I've reviewed these simple observations, I can see that there is benefit in preparation. We ought to prepare ourselves to receive the words of Christ. In attendance at Church meetings, in attendance at the temple, in our personal studies, and at any time when there is an opportunity to receive the words of Christ, there is a need to clear out the ground, to do the work of preparation to receive the words of Christ.

There is a curiously strong spirit about this doctrine, that as I reflect upon past seasons of discipleship, I can pinpoint having done this preparation which in turn laid a foundation for my present faith today. Let us clear the ground around us, pull the weeds, cast out the stones, and prepare the soil to receive the words of Christ.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Let Your Light So Shine," Matthew 5:3-16

Matthew 5:3-16

These verses are ringing out in my ears this morning as a cry for repentance.

Alma 60:23 - "...Remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also."

Revisiting these brief statements of hope, I paused on "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." The Savior doesn't offer much explanation on how this would happen or why or anything of the sort. But then I cross referenced footnotes until I arrived at Isaiah 60:20. I went back and read the entire chapter. Doing so, it becomes clearly evident that those who ever had cause to mourn, will -- in some great future day-- never have cause to mourn again.

Understanding this also gives pause to lessen the pains of present challenges.

--------

This brings us to consider one of the great oxymorons of  Christ's teachings:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father…

"For In Such an Hour as Ye Think Not," Matthew 24:36-51

Matthew 24:36-51,

At the end of this chapter, the Savior is discoursing on the time of his Second Coming. This proceeds the three parables about the end of times: the virgins, the talents, and the sheep and goats.

In JST-Matthew 1:39-40, it talks of how the elect will see the signs of his coming, but that ultimately, no one knows when that day shall come except that we are told that it will come when we do not expect to see it. It will be "business as usual" until the day of His Coming. That is humbling because today is a day of "business as usual." And so what Christ is saying is that it will be a day, just like today, when He comes again. 

Vs. 48 sums up the whole of it: "Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

"A Sower Went Forth to Sow," Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:1-23

The parable of the sower as taught in these verses I feel is fairly well known. What follows the Savior's initial instructions however is notably decisive in explaining the difference between the true disciples of Christ, and those who will casually pass by to listen, but with no intent to act on what is heard.

There is much to study here, but what is curious about this passage is that I find there are distinct parallels between these fundamental teachings of Christ, and in the early recorded scriptural documents in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For example, compare Matthew 13:11 with Doctrine and Covenants 6:11-12