Day 10

Parables and Miracles

from the Luke reading plan


Luke 8:1-56, Psalm 107:28-32, Acts 28:25-28

BY Rebecca Faires

Jesus used parables to teach both the crowds and His disciples. Typically, He first spoke the parable in the hearing of all, and then in private explained it to His disciples. But even the disciples were curious about this, and so they asked Jesus, “Why are you speaking to them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).

It’s a funny thought. Why would Jesus want to make things more complicated? Isn’t the kingdom of heaven a sufficiently difficult idea to grasp without riddles? And isn’t it hard enough to comprehend what it means that Jesus is the Messiah, even when explained in plain Aramaic?

Yes! And here’s Jesus’s fascinating response, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them” (v.11). What?! The disciples got secrets that everyone else didn’t get? But wait, there’s more. Jesus continued, “For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. That is why I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand” (vv.12–13).

They think they understand, but they don’t. Now when we read Jesus’s parable of the sower and see the Word fall on unfruitful ground, we can see what He’s talking about. Some hearts are hard, and some hearts are not ready.

Christ’s Word was at the center of His ministry. His Word is valuable—His Word is life—and not everyone understood it. We stand at a wonderful time in history because now we, like His disciples, get to be taken aside to hear Him explain His own Word. The messianic mystery is made even more understandable for us than it was for the disciples because we have access to the entirety of Scripture.

Like the disciples, we need Christ to interpret His Word. Without the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, we are like those who have eyes yet see not, and have ears yet hear not. Apart from Christ, we are unfit soil and will bear no fruit.

Like the disciples, we are to listen attentively and carefully, seeking to know more. We are not to clutter our hearts with the vain loves and cares of this world. “Therefore, take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18). The light of the world has come to reveal all things, and in His light, nothing remains hidden. So let us look to the Lord and ask Him to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to believe (Acts 28:27).

Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "Parables and Miracles"

  1. Ash says:

    Praying for you, Valerie! Bringing others to Christ is always the most difficult work. I see the patience and care you are putting into this, and pray you will be rewarded for your tenacity

  2. Sarah D. says:

    Praying for you Tricia! I love the verse in Psalms,that says He will lead them to the harbor they longed for. Praying that God would lead me to the harbor He ultimately longs for my life, as I decide whether to transfer colleges. It’s kind of a God thing that we had that verse today relating to the ocean, because if I did transfer I would major in marine biology. Lord, I give it all to you. Place me where you want me.

  3. Lily A says:

    Lord, I pray the seed of your word may come unto us on fertile ground. I pray our roots grow strong and we continue to nurture and tend to our faith. I pray that strong roots will grow to bear fruit, and that we will be called to scatter seed and help others to know you through our actions. Amen!

  4. Valerie says:

    this devotion really struck a chord with me today. story time and prayer/advice request below. i apologize for my long comment!

    “Some hearts are hard, and some hearts are not ready.” this really hit home for me today. my S/O is agnostic and it has been a source of constant anxiety for me the last few months (we have been together for a year this month). it makes me think of ezekiel 36:26, a verse that i have constantly been praying over. i have faith that god will reach him, and is working on him in his perfect timing, but it is still very stressful for me.

    i know many fellow believers would say it is unwise to be in this relationship and to cut things off, but i truly believe god brought us together. last year at this time of year my prayer and wish for 2018 was to find my person for forever, who would be worth all the loneliness and pain and past loves failing, and immediately god brought my S/O back into my life (we had met briefly once before through a mutual friend). against all odds we started dating – the timing and coincidences that led to us meeting again were JUST right, too perfect to be anything but god.

    my S/O also grew up in a cold, broken, and uncaring christian household and has been hurt by his family many times. he could have become an extremely bitter and cruel person but has only demonstrated how caring and loving of a person he is to me time and time again. over the past year my S/O has shown me unconditional love, limitless forgiveness, more happiness than i ever thought someone could make me feel, and i can see god’s love in him in the way he loves and cares for me. but he prides himself on how he thinks with reason and how rational he is, and while he doesn’t discount the possibility of god, he thinks that without the science to back it up it’s unlikely.

    i am afraid of being pushy with my faith with my S/O. i was afraid to ask him to come to church with me for the longest time (i have been searching for a new church home, and didn’t want to ask until i found that home. but now i think i’ve found it!) but felt pulled to ask one day anyway, but despite that i was still not going to ask until heard a voice say “how can i work on him when you haven’t given me a chance to?” i have not had many spiritual experiences before other than a general “feeling” and always kind of waved it off when i’ve heard church leaders and others say literally that “god was speaking to them” but this really shocked me and i knew it to be god speaking to me. he grumbled a bit but did come with and seemed to enjoy the service. but i am afraid to ask again or even talk to him openly about faith because i’m worried he will be internally eye rolling at my spirituality since he’s so rational, and am afraid i will be met with defensiveness and that there is still a lot of hurt around this area because of his family.

    on new year’s this year i had a dream that i was walking along a residential street at night all alone, and everything was in black and white. i was calling out my S/O’s name but heard no reply, and when i woke up i was strangely not unsettled by the dream. i thought maybe it was a sign that my S/O was too far to reach and that i should give up – but that interpretation didn’t feel right, especially since i wasn’t emotionally affected by it in any way. there have been times where i’ve wondered if i really should call things off, but what if i were to find someone who shares my faith and then loses it later on? as i thought more about it over the next couple days, i realized that the dream was trying to show me how colorless and empty my life would be without my S/O. when i had that realization i heard a voice say “ah, you understand.” and once again i knew it to be god speaking to me.

    this is a really long post now, and i appreciate those of you who’ve read everything! i want to kindly ask for your prayers that god softens my S/O’s heart and pulls him towards him. that my S/O will seek god out and find him. that he will find there is reason and rationality behind faith. that i will not be a hindrance on his journey to faith, but be a good example of the healing, hope, joy, comfort, and love that faith brings. that god will grant me patience and peace and clarity in this waiting period. that i will trust in his perfect timing, the timing so perfect that brought my S/O into my life against all odds. i know god is working on him and wants me to be patient but it is much easier said than done. it feels foolish and i am afraid that even if my S/O does come to church with me, does talk openly about faith with me, that it will only be to appease me, that it will be a false hope and maybe he will never come around. it is scary to plan for a future together when you are unsure how god will time things. it is scary to plan for a future based on hope alone.

    and to those of you who’ve been in similar situations, any advice or encouragement you have would mean the world to me. thank you, thank you, thank you, and blessings to all of you.

    1. Brittany Ringo says:

      Hi Valerie! I am praying with you. I love how you said you are hearing God voice, I too have felt like it was just a feeling but it’s great you hear Him speaking to you! My husband didn’t grow up in church and I didn’t know if it was possible for him to become a believer but God has moved mountains in his heart in just a few short years and He can move mountains in your S O s heart too! Praying with you now for a heart to be softened and moved toward God!

    2. S S says:

      Brittany, I too have gone through exactly what you are experiencing. I have now been happily married for over 4 years and although my husband still has not been called to a personal relationship with God, I am repeatedly shown why God has chosen us for one another. it is so tough coming from a strong Christian background and realizing that God has chosen someone who is not a believer. But the important part of all of this is that you are constantly seeking Gods word and wisdom throughout your time together. It is incredible that you have heard Gods voice respond to your cries and know that he will continue to do so! Look how the learned Pharisees scoffed at Jesus’s interactions and relationships with those who were not Jews. Look at the story of Hosea who was called to marry a prostitute. God works in unexpected ways and if you feel this has drawn you closer to him and your relationship is bearing good fruit, then keep listening to Him! Praying for you that you may find your strength in God. Praying for your S/O and my husband, that God might move mountains in their hearts and draw them near to Him.

    3. Natasha R says:

      Hi Valerie! I hope you still get to read this because I’m a few days behind! How you describe your S/O and your relationship is quite similar to my situation with my love. He is a good, kind man but had so many defenses around his heart because of previous hurts. I, too, did not know how to bring him to God. I prayed and prayed, surrendered to God, and asked him to show me how to love this man in the way He wanted me too. And God started changing, and continues to change, his heart. We’re married now, going to church together, growing in faith together, and having infrequent but significant exchanges about our faith. So, just surrender, and God will deal with it!

  5. Alexis says:

    Praying for you Tricia and Indiana!

  6. LindseyJane Godbold says:

    Prayers for you, Tricia. I pray you feel the presence of our Great Physician today.

  7. Lara Castillo says:

    Praying for Churchmouse.

  8. Carla says:

    Grateful for this space to come and fill up with God’s word and hear from other Godly women. Tricia…prayers for you and a giant hug. God’s got this. ❤

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