6th Sunday after Pentecost: 16 July – Matthew 13:1-23 ~ Farming 101

6th Sunday after Pentecost

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

God of the heavens, God of the earth, all creation awaits your gift of new life. Prepare our hearts to receive the word of your Son, that this good news may grow within us and yield a harvest that is a hundredfold. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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“Psalm 84” – the Protestant Reformed Churches in America


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Reading: Matthew 13:1-23 (NLT)

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables,

For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.

For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes — so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
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Intercessory Prayer

Gracious God: You crown me with love and tender mercy; you fill my life with goodness. Hear me as I pray –

+ That all your people may hear, understand, and live your Word….
+ That hard-hearted people may be broken and prepared to receive your Word….
+ That new believers may become deeply rooted in your Word….
+ That believers everywhere may seek your kingdom first, above all else….
+ That believers everywhere may see their faithfulness rewarded by changed lives….
+ That believers who have gone before us in death may share the glory awaiting all your people….

God our creator, you provide for the earth and for all who live, hear to my prayer, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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“Psalm 85” – John Alexander Wilson 2016, The Free Church of Scotland.


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Concluding Prayer – 1 Cor. 15:58 (NLT)

Therefore, my beloved friends, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!



Categories: Life in Christ

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