Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Epistle: Romans 8:12-17
Lesson: Isaiah 55:10-13
Psalm: Psalm 65:(1-8) 9-13
CLB Commentary – Rev. Dale Hanson
The scripture lessons for this 6th Sunday after Pentecost show us how the Spirit of God uses His Word.
The first lesson from Isaiah 55:10-13 assures us that God accomplishes what he desires when His Word is sent out. Just as the rain and snow waters the earth and brings forth seed and food so also God’s Word works in human hearts what He desires. He convicts of sin and grants faith as He wishes. How He does that we do not always understand, but we are to trust His Word. It is not as a result of our efforts and planning that the growth of the church happens but because of the preached word. God reminds and reassures us that He will build his kingdom and nothing will be able to stop that.
In the second lesson from Romans 8:12-17; we see how the Spirit of God uses the Word in the life of a Christian. We are called to live according to the Spirit; not according to our sinful flesh. It is only as we are lead by the Spirit of God, working through the Word of God, that we can put to death the activities of our sinful nature. This life of resisting the flesh is to lead to freedom and joy, not bondage. Sin brings bondage; grace results in freedom and joy. The struggle against sin will remain a part of our life as long as we live. We need not fall into fear or bondage but live in the freedom and joy of being a Child of God, clothed in His righteousness even as we struggle against our sinful nature.
The Gospel for this Sunday, found in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23, explains how the Word of God works in the human heart. Jesus often preached and taught by using parables – short stories, allegories, fables and riddles. He explains the parable after telling it in verses 18-23. He shows how the Word of God works in different people. We are reminded that the Word does not always result in success, but will produce repentance and faith in a variety of ways. As we consider the different ways the Word works we are made aware of the natural resistance of the human heart toward the work of God. Three different soils, or heart conditions, explain why some resist God’s work of redemption. Some hear the Word but don’t understand and then Satan comes and quickly takes it away. Secondly, some hear and gladly receive it but do not remain because the soil is hard and nothing can penetrate or stick. The third type of soil are the ones who hear the Word but the concerns of the world take over and chock out the Word so it does not take root. Thankfully there is a fourth type of soil which represents those who hear the Word, gladly receive it resulting in growth which produces differing yields.
As we listen to this parable it would be well for us to examine our own heart and understand how we, from time to time, respond to the Word of God.
These texts are given to us so that we may again be reassured of the power of God’s Word; that we might seek to be faithful in proclaiming it and be renewed in our dependence upon it to create the results God intends.