Scripture: Matthew 8:14-34; Mark 4-5. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Jesus used many illustrations and examples when speaking to the crowds of people. Jesus told the parables of the four soils, the growing seed, and the mustard seed. We also read about Jesus healing Peter’s mother, Jesus teaching about the cost of following him, Jesus calming the storm, Jesus sending demons into a herd of pigs, Jesus healing a bleeding woman, and Jesus restoring a girl’s life. Follow along as we continue reading in the New Testament, Matthew 8:14-34; Mark 4-5!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Jesus’ parables were meant to encourage and teach us different things. The four different types of soils represent the different responses to God’s message. People respond to God’s message different because they are all in different types of readiness, such as hardened, shallow, distracted by worries, or receptive. We must ask ourselves which type of “soil” we are and ask God to help shape us into the people He intended us to be. One day, God’s judgment will be upon all people, and we must be ready by making sure our faith in God is sincere. God’s kingdom of Heaven is way more important than anything else we can have; we must be willing to give up everything in this life to obtain it, always following God and His will for our lives. We must also be sure to thank God for this precious gift and opportunity that He has given to us. The people of Nazareth were lacking in their faith, refusing to believe Jesus was the Christ. We must believe, ask God for His mighty work in our lives, and look through eyes of faith. Applying God’s Word in our lives will also help us grow. Jesus calmed a storm in Luke 8. No matter what struggles, storms, and battles we are going through in life, God can help us through anything. He will calm our “storms” in life when we seek Him, drawing close to Him.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Thank You for the Books of Matthew and Mark, and the lessons that come from each chapter. Father, we know that we are sinners, and we ask for Your forgiveness. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, obeying and praising You through all circumstances in our lives. Please help us to love and obey You wholeheartedly. Please help us to love our enemies and to forgive those who have hurt us, as well. Please be with those who have rejected You, and help them to return to You, Father, before judgement. Help us to treat others with kindness, and help us to show the same traits to others as You do, following Your example. Help us to trust in Your care and provision in each of our lives. Even though we do not always get what we want in life, we know that You know what is best for us. Please help us to draw near to You, and please protect us from giving in to the pressures of this fallen world. We want to live Godly lives. When we face struggles in this life, Father, please help us to call upon You. Help us also to be more compassionate toward others who are struggling in this evil world, as well. Help us to be Your hands and feet in this world, and guide us in the right paths for our lives. Help us to trust in Your timing for our lives, and help us not to grow impatient. We thank You for Your son Jesus who died to free us from the slavery of our sins. Thank You for the unique gifts and talents that You give to each one of us; help us to work in unity with others to accomplish Your plan. Thank You for the promise of one day living in eternity with You. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.