A question that arises in our Friday morning study of Matthew’s gospel, “Will the disciples ever get it?” In chapter 16, Jesus warns the disciples about the leaven, the negative influence, of the Pharisees and Sadducees. However, the disciples are upset that someone has forgotten to bring lunch. Jesus says he recently fed 9,000 people with some bread and a few fish. He can provide lunch. “I’m not talking about bread. But the dangerous thinking of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” The disciples finally get it. Aha! The crisis is not in their stomachs.
The disciples are a mirror for Christians. Will we ever get it? Recently, I heard a sermon on the sower who went out to plant his field and some of the seed fell on shallow soil, some among thorns, some on a path and some on good soil. The preacher said that all of us have patches in our lives where the Word isn’t productive.
I’ve noticed a mean spiritedness in some of our attitudes in the field of politics. Where else do the thorns and thistles grow in our lives? Where else is the field of our heart stony or a well-worn path of scabbed over, but never completely healed hurts?
Let me paraphrase Paul in our epistle reading for this weekend, “To this end Christ died and lived again that he might be Lord both of the stony ground and Pharisee in ourselves as well as that which is alive to Christ.”