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Wheat and Weeds
“He really knows the Bible well.” I’ve been told this more than once by some well meaning person about someone who is obviously not following Jesus. The person described as such a knowledgeable Bible student may be a drunkard, a wife beater, a drug abuser, or someone who can’t control their temper and is so arrogant that no employer wants to keep them on the payroll. Their life is so out of control that no one would confuse them for a disciple of Jesus, but still, as I visit with a relative, or concerned friend, they will comment on how much Bible they know. “They just quote the Bible all the time.”
For some reason I kept thinking about this as I prepared this sermon. It didn’t seem to work into the content of the sermon and after writing the above paragraph, I’m not sure it even fits that well with the parables we discussed from Matthew 13! However, it does illustrate the point that just knowing the Bible is not enough. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” Jesus said repeatedly. But notice that in the Parable of the Soils (Matthew 13) Jesus’ description of the person represented by each kind of soil had heard the word. They heard the word BUT:
- they “do not understand it” (Path – 13:19)
- “since they have no root, they last only a short time” (Rocky – 13:21)
- “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word” (Thorns – 13:22)
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it“ (Matthew 13:23). Who cares how much Bible you know; the world needs to see people LIVING the word. Or, to say it more in line with the teaching of Scripture, they need to see the Living Word living through us! That is the person who truly has “ears to hear.” And that is the person who is living as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.