A devotional by Franklin Graham

May 20, 2014


Jesus the Preacher

“And Jesus said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mark 4:9)

When the Lord Jesus Christ taught in the synagogue, He read the Scriptures aloud, quoting from Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed . . . . Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. So all bore witness to Him and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:18, 21-22).

Jesus was sowing the seed of the Gospel in the most likely location – a place of worship. He planted in the hearts of the hearers His reason for coming to earth in the form of man – so they could hear the Word of God. He sowed the Gospel seed in many ways: with rich mercy in the hearts of the poor; with healing into broken hearts; with freedom to those in captivity; with light into the eyes of the blind; and with comfort to those oppressed. The hearers rejoiced at Jesus’ words filled with hope and consolations – until He spoke of this same grace being extended to the Gentiles. Those present suddenly did not want to hear the rest of the story. They were indignant. The Bible says they were “filled with wrath” (Luke 4:28).

This is not what Jesus was saying in the parable of the sower. Many did not want to hear the truth, so they turned out the words of Jesus; they hardened the soil of their souls to His message. The Bible tells us that if we will open our hearts to God’s Word, He will give understanding to the deaf and sight to the blind (Matthew 11:4-5).

Is the soil of your soul prepared to receive what Christ desires to give?

from “The Sower: Follow in His Steps” by Franklin Graham

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