A New Alternative

Here is the Scripture passage for Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 (10:30am).  As you read this passage, consider “What is the Kingdom of God?” and “What about this kingdom is good news to its hearers and you?”  Feel free to comment with your thoughts and we hope to see you on Sunday.  ~ Pastor Bob

Luke 8:1-15

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

” ‘though seeing, they may not see;  though hearing, they may not understand.’ (Isa.6:9)

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

One thought on “A New Alternative

  1. Sermon summary:

    The Kingdom of God is where God “reigns or rules” (Harper’s Dictionary). Jesus’ initial message was “The time has come… the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:15) This message is particuarly to the common folk, who are under rule by the Roman empire as well as to the disenfranchized from the religious leaders. However He proclaims it closer than ‘near’ when he says to John the Baptizer’s disciples: “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (Matthew 11:4-6) We pray in the Lord’s prayer “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s kingdom invaded a polically hostile, religiously unbalanced, fallen world.

    Without Jesus we are all “helpless and harassed” like sheep without a shephard” (Matthew 9:36-38). The parable talks of soils of the pathway, three of which keep the full effect of the good news of God’s kingdom from sinking in. Maybe we are entranced by the mainstream of life; or we carry bitterness and it’s become a badge of honor; or we are worried about tomorrow and having enough. Three of the soils tell of harrassments and helplessness… but the good soil speaks of trust in God and allowing His full Kingship to grow in our hearts. That word which is seed is good news. The good news is an alternative kingdom to what we struggle and stive to maintain.

    Application: Whatever is ruling our hearts today, we need to give that rule over to God. We must seek to understand and embrace the alternative knigdom that Jesus not only proclaims but brings. Find it in his word handed down to us in the Scriptures! Talk about with one another and God in prayer! Live out the love and compassion of Jesus, who gave His own life that you and I would get this! Redeemed and renewed we can live this Kingdom now.

    Jesus said in Luke 12:32-34: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (It certainly seems to me that Jesus is leading a rebellion)

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