I will summarize each chapter in a phrase or sentence, then take a paragraph to explain something that caught my attention.
Chapter 4: Three parables, then the calming of a storm.
I want to zoom in on the parable of the sower. Today, I listened to a Bob Coy sermon about the law of sowing and reaping. The reason it’s used in the Bible to apply to spiritual things is because it is a flawless rule in the physical world. If you sow/plant beans, you reap beans. If you sow/plant corn, you reap corn. If you sow/plant good seeds (in good soil), you reap good crops. If you sow/plant good seeds (in good soil, but don’t weed it), you don’t reap good crops. They will be choked out. If you sow/plant (in bad soil), you don’t reap a good crop. It will be scorched because there are no roots. If you sow/plant good seeds (in no soil), you don’t reap a good crop. The seed will be snatched. That’s true physically. It’s also true that if you sow/plant bad seeds, you don’t reap a good crop. Your labor will be vain. But when Jesus explains this parable, he says something fascinating about the weeds that can choke out a crop. He says the things that will choke it out are the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things. What do people struggle with the most in this life? What competes for their attention? What draws/allures them away from the Lord? I think Jesus just told us.
Chapter 5: Jesus restores a demon-possessed man, raises a dead girl, and heals a sick woman.
“The demons begged Jesus.” This spiritual battle is not an even match between good and evil. It’s not a fair fight between God and Satan. As my pastor says, “They aren’t even in the same ring.”