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Luke 8 v 5. “A farmer went out to sow his seed”.

And the rest most of you will know from your Sunday School days. But take the time to read the whole passage. It will do your soul the world of good.

Leading up to this moment we have met the Roman Centurion, the Widow of Nain and the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet. All of these encounters illustrated some aspect of salvation.

But for many people watching and listening to Jesus’ salvation and the way it works was a baffling mystery. It’s the same with us today. Many people understand the need to live morally and to lead a good life. For many of these people it seems reasonable that if we do our best in spite of our many weaknesses and temptations that God will be merciful to us in the end.

But the idea that someone can actually hear God and be saved in this present life often makes no sense, especially when many so-called Christians make such a mess of their lives and bring discredit on Christ and His Church. It’s no wonder that sometimes people are dismissive of the whole thing. We must remember that that is the idea above all others that Satan would seek to prevent taking root in people’s hearts. And so he often presents to people either miserable failures in the Church, or alternative belief systems that actually save nobody. But the idea of believing in Jesus and being saved in this life is the truth the devil wishes to obscure.

But we need to understand that God’s way of salvation, of establishing his Kingdom, is indeed a mystery – remembering that “mystery” in this context does not mean something we can never know, but it’s rather something we would have never known if God did not reveal it to us. It is now an open secret. God has revealed his plan to some people through his word and in an especially conclusive way through His Son – Jesus Christ.

Yet, even though it is an open secret, people will never understand it unless Christ reveals it to them by opening their hearts to understand and believe.

This parable explains the processes and reactions which are set in motion when God’s Word is preached. The disciples themselves did not understand it when they first heard it and they needed Jesus to explain it.

We are grateful they did, for we now also have the explanation of the parable of the sower before us, thanks to Luke and his desire for his friend Onesimus to understand.

Let’s pray for understanding ourselves over the next few days.