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THIS JESUS LIFE PODCAST

The Sower
Episode No. 36

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” We kick off a new series as we learn from the parables of Christ. We talk about the types of ground that Jesus finds when sharing the new Kingdom.

Resources

You are valued, loved, and known.
You have potential and purpose.

Verses – Matthew 13:3–23Mark 4:3–20Luke 8:5–15.
Verses – 1 Peter 3:15-16.
Verse – John 10:27.
Article – Parable of the Sower.

Transcription

Andrew: Hello. Hello. Hello. We’re just two normal dudes trying to live this Jesus’ life. My name is Andrew. 

Josh: Hey, I’m Josh. And we are this Jesus life 

Andrew: podcast. One day. Jesus was sitting on a boat and he was talking to a huge crowd of people. And he told them about a farmer who was planting his field farmer, spread a bunch of seed out.

And some of that seed landed on Rocky soil, uh, where the roots came up, the seed, uh, art, Rocky soil, where actually the birds kind of came and ate. The seeds didn’t really produce much. The wind blew and it all flew away. Some other seeds, uh, landed on shallow soil where, um, they kind of grew quickly. And, uh, but the problem was that the soil wasn’t that good.

It was, it was Sandy, it was shallow. So they grew quick. But then by the time the wind came, uh, trials came, the storms came just kinda died. Uh, didn’t have good enough roots. Then the third seeds, they kind of fell on good soil and they grew deep roots and they produced like a hundred fold. Um, like one seed was worth way more than all the others.

So, um, that’s the parable he told we’re going to talk about it. 

Josh: Hey, we start a new series with this episode, um, before we kind of dive into it. And that will kind of kick off with a parable that Jesus told in his three years of ministry here on earth. And that’s just kind of digging into it, dissecting it and trying to figure out how it applies to our lives as followers of Jesus in this Jesus life.

Um, and this is our first parable, the parable of the sower. Um, if you are following along and you have a Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, you can find1@bible.com or Google ads or Google or Google these verses. Cause there’s plenty of Bibles out there. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be a physical thing in your hand.

Uh, but the passages are Matthew chapter 13, three through 23. So Matthew 13, um, Mark four. A majority of Mark for chap are verses three through 20 and the middle of Luke eight five through 15. And like, like at any times we read scripture, we read scripture and relationship with Jesus, expecting Jesus to speak to a hearts and our souls.

And that’s the same thing here. So as you read these verses yourselves, um, as you dig into them yourselves, uh, let Jesus speak through them to your heart. And the benefit is. This para was exactly about that idea. Um, so we’re going to start off with this, uh, which wasn’t planned. Um, if you know our planning, um, it’s pretty limited.

We actually tried to record this on Friday and, uh, Andrew, I came to the table with a different parable and we’re like, dude, I got nothing that he’s like, dude, I gotta go. Then we’re like, let’s not record today 

Andrew: and let’s do a different one. That’s 

Josh: why I have to, but now we’re back and again, Probably didn’t do a lot of preparing, but we did order the parables this time around not really looking into them other than here’s the title and here’s the context of the verses, uh, and then ordered them by categories.

So we’ll be working through these, these parables for the next handful of episodes, um, which should be a lot of fun. Uh, it should be a little bit lighter and more enjoyable, um, because we want to make it that way. And, uh, we’re lighter and enjoyable people. That’s how I described myself when someone says, Hey, uh, how do you describe your, so he’s a, he’s a lighter and enjoyable person.

Andrew: And literally since, uh, since, um, It’s January 17th right now, since January 1st, Josh has lost 250 pounds and he is jovial. Um, I’m just kidding. 

Josh: Just skin and bones. Wait that’s that? Doesn’t leave a lot left. Uh, I’m a little offended answer that, you know, you think, or know that I weigh more than 250 pounds, uh, and you’re able to use that kind of number and not put your real self in the negative.

Andrew: If I’m being real, I said two 50, because I didn’t want people to think I was serious. If I said he’s lost 13 pounds. I don’t know if you’ve lost any weight, man. You look fine. You look, you look light and enjoyable. 

Josh: It’s cause he just seen my head up. 

Andrew: Yeah. Josh, when you say that light and enjoyable, I know I’m distracting from getting in, but when you say light and enjoyable, what is the first food that comes to mind for you?

Josh: Oh, shoot. I don’t know those two lines. They don’t really go together or maybe they do for you, but like, like food that’s enjoyable does not occur to me. 

Andrew: That’s fair. Okay. What’s in your head. Popcorn, popcorn, delicious buttery. I’m a huge fan of popcorn. Really man. 

Josh: Yeah, it pisses me off, I guess. It’s good. I like it sometimes, but it’s smells so good.

And it never lives up to the smell. 

Andrew: Well, see, I think it does. I love good popcorn. Um, okay. The other food that this is a weird one, but I just love them. Um, we have this awesome bagel shop close by and like probably once a month we go and pick up some bagels on Saturday morning and dude. Cooking that up with some butter on a griddle, you know, sliced open and putting like some good scallion cream cheese on a jalapeno cheddar bagel.

Oh, light and enjoyable. Delicious. Interesting. Yeah. 

Josh: I never came to mind when I think of bagels. 

Andrew: No, no, I don’t know. I’m a wizard. So that is heavy food 

Josh: actually come to mind, like, like, um, croissants. Yes. Pretty much just fried butter and bread. Yeah. 

Andrew: Yeah. Croissants and popcorn. Those are better answers, but if I’m being totally real bagel, butter and cream cheese, first thing that 

Josh: actually came to mind.

Yeah. That’s pretty good. Yeah, totally. Yeah. I’m a fan of bagels. I don’t eat them that often. Cause we just don’t have a great big in place though. I will say this. There’s a King Soopers near my house. King Soopers is our grocery store, which is actually just 

Andrew: croaker for most of the country. But it’s all these other weird names to King Soopers.

Josh: That’s true. Yeah. So if you’re near it’s, uh, it’s in the Kroger family. So, um, I also thought it was weird. I was like, what the heck is King Soopers? I don’t want to go there. It sounds like white trashy. It isn’t star nice creatures. But I went next to my house is like those new super ones would be like sells clothes.

Um, cause you’re like, that’s what I need to do is buy clothes at the grocery store. Right? 

Andrew: Some tank tops, crop 

Josh: tops have dollar pretzels that are like homemade. Just hang in there. Oh, my gosh, they’re the death of food I’ve eaten. I have made trips to King Soopers for nothing else. Other than this. 

Andrew: Yes.

That’s awesome. Dude. Hot pretzels, hot, soft pretzels are ridiculously good. I will say that’s light and refreshing, you know? 

Josh: Yeah. Oh, Oh, it’s enjoyable. Yeah, definitely enjoyable. Yeah. Fans some good like Brown mustard or did y’all like, Oh yeah, dude, we have cheese and you can’t get salted pretzels. Cause like, then it’s just salt.

You’re eating. And I don’t want to do that. Just plain pretzels or the ones with rice. If they got the cheese on them. That was pretty good too. 

Andrew: Yeah. See, we disagree a bit. Cause I’m cool with the hot salty soft pretzel. I’m good with that. As long as it’s buttery, but I don’t, I don’t like them with a ton of salt, just like a little bit.

There’s a whole grocery store. Um, that’s a little Mennonite grocery store close by that we go to cause I’m in Pennsylvania. So we have a lot of nights. Um, we go. They’re often for like good produce and stuff. And their baked goods are out of this world, but, um, they always have homemade, like hot pretzels hanging, just like you said, um, at the, at the checkout.

So my daughter literally calls it the pretzel store where it’s just like a tiny thing. They do. Dude. They get us every time. Every time we’re like three of those. Yes, please. No, like, 

Josh: no Jesus. Six day. We’ll have to. Yeah. For the ride home one for we get them. Yeah. Yes. Yes. Uh, I don’t know how we got on the pretzel talk, but, um, I’m hoping everyone makes it to, uh, a store today and get yourself a good old, uh, what do they call ’em soft pretzels.

None of those little bag pretzels. Yeah. Like you want a good soft pretzel three years ago when they’re like extra Brown and they’re like breaking through. Yeah. Okay. So you yourself treat yourself like Andrew said, treat yourself. Which is all good. I just watched started watching that again last night.

Andrew: Parks and rec parks and recreation. It’s great. Every time. It’s great. Every 

Josh: time it’s on a streaming service right now, maybe it’s on peacock. 

Andrew: I think it’s on peacock. I’m pretty positive. It is. Um, I 

Josh: own it, um, iTunes, so I watch it there, but yeah, 

Andrew: yeah, yeah. Nice. Yeah. Parks and rec makes me laugh every time.

It is always light and enjoyable as they say, 

Josh: I’ll come out and say it. I think parks and rec characters are better than office characters. 

Andrew: Me too, dude. I think 

Josh: office storylines are much better than now. I’m not saying top characters like you have, you have like Jim and Dwight, like there’s not a character in parks and rec that compared to those two, um, in terms of level, but in terms of overall cast, I like more of the cast in the only one that like kinda cringy and he’s cringy funny is Rob, uh, what’s his name?

His real name’s 

Andrew: Rob. Oh gosh. Uh, he’s city manager. Um, yeah, no, his last 

Josh: name. He was in, um, another one he’s in all kinds of stuff. 

Andrew: He’s super famous. Yeah. 

Josh: I’m me. See, we’ll have Schmidt. That’s not a thing. I don’t know a Schmidt. Yeah. So I will say that, uh, Definitely good stuff. When you come to, uh, parks and rec, but yeah, the office storylines are just better, but the office has more characters.

I do not like that are, that are more than cringe-worthy. They’re just like, no, thank you. You shouldn’t be on the show. Yeah, 

Andrew: Rob. Hello? I just looked it up, but yes. Yeah. And parks and rec makes me laugh more. There were, there was a time when I would’ve said the office and it’s now shifted and I still, I love the office.

It makes me laugh a lot, but parks and rec beats it out 

Josh: for sure. How crazy is it that NBC got two major shows like that? 

Andrew: That’s pretty good. They have all kinds of good stuff. That’s 

Josh: wild go. You, uh, NBC. Uh, show finders or whatever your title is. I assume that’s what’s on your business card. Uh, Jim Jim Smith of NBC title show finder.

Andrew: Sure. Find her spine chip maker. Oh, they call me the Hitmaker. 

Josh: Yeah. That’s what it was like cheesy, like you put it on like your dating profile. This is Josh hit maker. Burchett that? Might’ve been the first time I’ve ever said my name on this episode, on the show. 

Andrew: Oops. Yeah, I realized there’s been a few times when I’ve said your first and last name and I’m always like, should I do that?

Josh: It’s on our website. So it’s not like you can hide it, but yeah, if there’s something we’ve never done. But 

Andrew: it’s just something weird where I’m like, wow, everybody can look him up and send him threatening mail. Now, you know, 

Josh: we encourage 

Andrew: just, just let them know it’s, you know, because you listen to this podcast and give us a great review.

Let them know that it’s fine. Yeah. Give 

Josh: us a great review. Yes. Review as well before tearing into us. We would appreciate that before a year. Let’s be honest. It doesn’t really like, it doesn’t really help us anymore. Right. Um, ratings and reviews, help deal at least on Apple podcasts. When you first launched to get on new and noteworthy, we didn’t make it there so sad, but we also didn’t launch big either our own bad.

Um, but whatever it is, what it is, you can still read us. It always helps people, you know, scrolling through and they’re like, man, they have good ratings and it’s not just from their moms. Yeah. 

Andrew: Oh listen. If you’re gonna, the rule is. If you’re going to send us a mean note or email, then you just owe us a good review before you do it and you don’t have to believe it.

Just write it best podcast I’ve ever listened to some hate mail. Yeah. Actually hate mail. If 

Josh: it’s like hate mail that like has anthrax or something crazy in it, they don’t give you the Andrews. Andrew’s address. I’d rather that that stuff has to go through his department rather than on my side, my department, um, he needs stuff.

So like, you know, if you have COVID and you’re coughing and envelopes. Yes. And that’s Andrew’s address and not mine. 

Andrew: That’s funny, dude. I’m stoked that we’re going to be talking about parables. Um, let me just say, because they’re like, before we go into this specific one, I’ve always loved them because I feel like they’re, uh, They’re just like really quick, simple, simple to understand stories that always have more meaning than you think, you know, down the road or they’re, they’re big overarching meanings, I guess.

So I don’t know. I’m just excited about this. Cause there’s a ton of parables to the point where I don’t think we’ll even cover all of the ones that Jesus spoke that were. Recorded. Um, maybe we will, I don’t know, but there’s a lot. Um, so I’m excited about it and I’m feeling, yeah. Feeling like this is going to be a cool shift, 

Josh: the cool thing of, of parables and why they’re so why they have so much depth to them, um, is like Jesus is trying to describe something new.

Like a new kingdom has been established. That’s going to be established under his throne, um, through his death and resurrection. Um, and he’s trying to describe something that is rather complex, um, in terms of the layers that exist inside of the kingdom, not layers of people, just layers of understanding.

Right. Um, and you know, trying to bring that to a group of people, which we’ll get to. In these verses today, um, is, is difficult. Um, so that’s why there’s layers. And I think this is Jesus’ point of this parable of the Sowers is like there’s layers to understanding of this kingdom and why he speaks in parables.

Uh, and when you get into these different layers, like they become, you know, When you move to a different levels. So we’re saying you, maybe you’re a thorns and you’re moving into good soil and you reread those verses like, Oh, I didn’t realize that’s what he was saying. Um, just gives greater depth, uh, and understanding, um, I think is exciting.

Um, but yeah, um, I think it’s worth, probably giving context of the bigger picture since we have a. We’re having a conversation on air. We haven’t read the verses. Um, so those that are like listening in, let’s just kind of give you a picture of what’s going on right now. Um, just so we’re on the same page while you’re listening.

You don’t have to stop though. You can pause and go read the verses. Um, always good. You can always go to this Jesus life podcast.com. Well, we’ll link the verses right there. Uh, really quick for you as well. So you can’t, you don’t have to like. Scroll back and be like, uh, what did he say at the beginning?

What did he say? It was in three different gospels. Okay. Uh, it is in three different gospels, uh, right now. Um, I’m trying to figure out where Jesus is. In the story line. 

Andrew: Well, he’s been at this point, Jesus has been, uh, he’s gathered his disciples, so they are following him actively. So you know, the people, Hey, come with me, let’s make fish.

I’m going to make you fishers of men, not just fishermen. Like that was part of what happened already. He’s he’s been teaching for a while. So there’s like crowds of people following him. He’s healed a ton of people. Um, at this point in Matthew, this is recorded like five, six chapters after the sermon on the Mount concludes.

So I didn’t look it up historically to see did this happen after the sermon on the Mount, but in the way it’s recorded in Matthew, at least it is after that. So. I only say that because it gets, by this point he’s been teaching for a while into 

Josh: his ministry. I would assume like he’s already sent out the disciples at this point.

Um, you know, two by two kind of thing. Um, and that was, uh, there was a decent amount of time into his ministry, not a huge amount, but a decent, um, so it’s, it’s the disciples have been with them long enough to understand a lot of what he’s talking about. Um, Now did this parable happen in the order that Matthew was written?

Maybe? Um, those are always up for debate. Yeah, he knows, but he is teaching to a large crowd at this moment, 

Andrew: large enough that he got into a boat so that he wasn’t like crunched and he could be out in front of them. So you got to think hundreds of people. Yeah. You 

Josh: know, uh, definitely hundreds. And here’s the crazy thing.

About little, little statements. Like that’s made in this versus, you know, he got into the boat and large crowds gathered around him, um, is like, Natural amplification happens. Um, and in a setting like this, cause you got to figure like, here’s your, here’s your shore? It’s coming down. There’s a, there’s a downward slope into the water.

They’re all sitting on the shore. It’s like a natural amphitheater that was created. Um, so little things like that, right, man, this dude is one smart cookie here. He is able to figure out without, you know, modern day implication, uh, to speak to thousands of people. Um, and there was probably that many, um, Around, you know, for such a large gathering, uh, Murray sharing the thing.

So that’s kind of the context that’s going into. And of course, Jesus uses an example that they’re all familiar with. Like, he’s talking to farmers, he’s talking to fishermen, he’s talking to people who are a part of this 

Andrew: culture. Let me, let me add, like, you know, this is the Jewish culture and, you know, he was deeply respected because they all saw him as a rabbi, like a teacher.

Like they saw him as something more when he was healing, all these people and he had this crazy reputation, like he’s brought people back from the dead. He’s healed all these paralyzed people, he’s cast demons out. So it was like rabbi on steroids, you know, but he was seen as somebody who would like open up the law and teach about God.

To the Jewish people, to the Israelites. And, um, so something that was deeply valued then in, in Jewish culture and is still deeply valued is. Teaching. So, um, when I was reading about this story a little bit, I’ve heard about it. I’ve heard it a lot of times I’ve read it a lot of times. It’s very common one that’s taught in kind of the U S church.

Um, but when I was looking it up, they said like two of the biggest ways this would have been understood would have been by. Literal farmers, you know, or people let’s not even say farmers, people with gardens, you know, cause everybody grew food. If they had enough space to do that. But farmers, especially, it was a very agrarian culture.

So a lot of people would just resonate with this crop seed analogy. But then also, uh, the second P group would be, Oh, he’s talking to teachers of the law. Like they would go and teach something and some of their teachings would fall on Rocky soil and get blown away and eaten by the birds, you know, basically forgotten, um, some would fall on decent soil and be remembered for awhile and then forgotten.

And other lessons they teach would, would be. Taught and remembered and retaught and spread to generations below them. It would be a very effective teaching, you know, so I read a few articles and there are a few kind of commentaries on this. And they were saying like, those are the two most widely, uh, believed ways that people who hear this story, this parable from Jesus in the moment it was taught.

What have thought about it? Uh, it would be farming and like the teaching class or rabbi class of people. 

Josh: Yeah. So kind of the, the, um, Timeline of this story. Um, so Jesus shares the parable, um, and the parable is simply, uh, there’s, there’s four types of, of soil that the seed is being planted on the path, the Rocky place, the thorns, and then good soil.

Um, and then what happens at each of those characteristics, and then he, um, slips away with his disciples and his disciples asked the question, like, what did that parallel mean? Can you explain it to us? Um, which is. A question that, that, uh, Jesus’ disciples ask them pretty regular basis. Um, one of two things is true.

Uh, the kingdom was still coming into be, so it was hard to understand. Um, so that’s why they’re asking these clarifying questions to, they just weren’t fully understanding, um, from a. Educational standpoint, what’s being said, um, there’s that side of it too. So I think there’s a lot, but the beautiful thing about this parable of these, so what does Jesus does explain it, or at least he explains why does he speak in parables?

Because that’s the question I think that’s asked. 

Andrew: Yeah. Why do you speak to them in parables? That’s what straight up? Why do you speak like this? You know, 

Josh: and Jesus’ answer is interesting. And I think it’s interesting enough for us to dig into of like, why. Why is it that Jesus speaking in this way and not in necessarily plain English, um, explaining what he’s trying to explain.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, Jesus starts his answer. Matthew I’m re I’m in Matthew with my physical Bible open. So in verse or chapter 13, verse 11, it says Jesus answered them to you. It has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them has not been granted. He keeps going after that. But let me just say there’s something there, you know, at this point, he’s saying you disciples, I’m letting you in, I’m opening the whole can of worms.

I don’t know. That’s not a great analogy. I’m hope I’m showing you the whole picture and I’m doing them intentionally because it’s been 

Josh: what there’s, you’re 

Andrew: pulling back the curtain. I’m pulling back the curtain for you though. Not for everybody yet, but just for you. I want you to understand it. Um, for whom a member has to him more shall be given and he will have an abundance, but whoever does not have, even what he has, will be taken from him.

Therefore, I speak to them in parables because while they see, well, they are seeing, they do not see. And while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And it keeps going after that, but it’s kind of okay. One big idea. Josh, do you mind if I go into what we were talking about beforehand, or do you want to add more kind of con context to that?

No, I’m good. So. I grew up, uh, talking to you about this before we clicked record, but I grew up as many of you knew and know in a very kind of evangelical church that, that really highlighted, you know, go and, um, spread the gospel to all nations and. I believe that I believe that’s, that is our role. Uh, part of our role as Christians is to share our faith and, and bring others to know the Lord in a real way.

Um, but I was just thinking about the, like what we’ve been seeing recently in our culture of just literally, like, if you believe, if you’re a Republican, you can’t convince a Democrat, they should be Republican. If you’re a Democrat, they can’t. They can’t convince a Republican to be a Democrat. You know what I mean?

It’s like people are so divided even on issues like that, that I really don’t think it matters if you have the best argument or the best explanation of why somebody should believe something else on a political issue. And man, just applying that to, uh, why somebody should believe, um, That Jesus, it was God incarnate and he died for our sins.

And he is alive today because he was re risen after three days in the grave, like to, to get somebody to believe that who says I’m an atheist, or I don’t believe that, um, I believe somebody else was a savior. That’s not God or whatever. Um, whatever it is, starting stances like that to me. Amplifies the idea of it doesn’t matter how good your argument is.

Um, But it also amplify, I still believe we need to be ready to preach the gospel, uh, whether it’s from, you know, at a formal sermon or in a direct conversation with people, which is really, I think, where evangelism happens more. Um, but we need to be ready to share the gospel, the good news about our salvation through Jesus, with people when they ask.

But I think it’s really up to the Holy spirit to do the work. I think it’s up to the Holy spirit to do the convincing, to say, okay, Josh, your words fell on a Rocky place today. That’s not on you, Josh. Your words fell in the thorns today. That’s not on you, you used your words, you, you spoke the gospel, you shared your faith.

Um, and then every now and again, Josh, your words fell on good soil. Somebody’s soul and heart was just ready to receive it. And you happened to be the voice piece in that moment to them to share the gospel to them. So I don’t know. I just, I think it’s so much more about. Kind of the Holy spirit moving and God extending his kingdom to others individually than it is about.

I have this great argument that’s going to totally change minds because I don’t think that’s how it works. 

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s the point of the, the parable, right? Like there’s. If you’re a follower of Jesus, there’s things that have been revealed about the kingdom, or as Jesus says, here are the mysteries of the kingdom, um, that, that you have an understanding of that’s great.

I think what, where we get into trouble with versus like, this is when we think it’s our job to labor where people are, Oh, you’re the path. You’re the Rocky, you’re the thorns. Like th that’s just divisive language or divisive that that’s the word. Um, like it’s not our job to do that. I think what Andrew is saying is, is our job is to share, as Peter said, um, you know, be ready to give an account of, of where your hope comes from.

Yeah. Um, that’s our job. Um, but how that is perceived is isn’t really our role. Um, and I think that’s what Jesus is trying to get at with, with this parable and at least how and how he explains it is people are going to take the stories that you share in a variety of different ways. Uh, it’s not your job, um, to.

Manage or control how they take it. Um, it’s your job just to share it, share the ways of the kingdom show, the ways of, of Jesus share what the gospel is. Um, but let it be there and let others take it as like Jesus simply saying it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to do the rats. Like it’s, it’s a, it’s a relationship between him and the Holy spirit and love of what’s happening in that individual’s life and where they’re at rather you to receive or not receive, um, what you’re doing.

I think oftentimes we feel that our need to defend Christianity in such a way with apologetics and everything else that comes into play there that we end up in, in a place where, um, Uh, we’re attacking rather than trying to even, and even if we weren’t necessarily, our intentions were to attack, they’re being perceived that way.

Um, and that’s, that’s not helpful to the gospel that’s harmful to the gospel. Um, you know, our job is to give an account for why we have hope and then leave it at that and let the individual and give an opportunity like that. My hope is in Jesus, the fact that, you know, he died and Rose again, giving me a new life and a new perspective on this, this life.

Like that’s where my hope falls. Um, and you know, if you want to follow it, I’m more than happy to walk through, walk you through it and just help you better understand what, what I’ve come to understand. But if you don’t, I get that too. Um, yeah, but I’m here. Let me know. Um, you want this kind of hope you want this kind of, and that’s man that goes back to this other conversation that we’ve been having for a while of like, yeah.

If you have no hope, like why the heck would anyone want what you have? Right. That’s a good point, dude. Yeah. If you’re living, if you’re living such a life where it’s. Christianity has become just a moralism in your life. It just, these do’s and don’ts who the heck wants to that? Uh, like, no, they want the hope that comes with, with following Jesus, the excitement, the full life that they that’s, what that that’s, what’s attractive to them and that’s what they’re going to be attracted to.

And then you get an opportunity to share why you have that, you know, found in Jesus alone. But man, Christians are so beat up. So hopeless, so frustrated with their lives and things going around them. And so Ben out of shape because, you know, they want to continue to control their outcomes and it’s not turning out the way that they wanted and outside looking in saying, yeah, I don’t want that.

No, 

Andrew: thanks. 

Josh: Uh, like that doesn’t sound fun. Uh, you’re just going to tell me what I can and cannot do. That’s not a life that I want to live. 

Andrew: No, or you’re just going to judge me for what I just confided in you about, you know, I just confessed that. Yeah. I did something I’m ashamed of, you know, and like the expectation is the Christian then shames them, cuts them out of their life.

Makes everybody know, Oh, he’s a bad person. You know, you don’t want to associate with Andrew. You don’t want associate with Josh. Like they’re just, they’re, they’ve gone too far. Uh, and you could even say, they’re just, they’re, you know, they’re in a thorny place. They’ll never hear the gospel. They’re condemned.

They’re damned whatever. Yeah. And this is one 

Josh: where this is where religion gets dangerous. Right? Like, we’ve see this. Let’s use Scientology as an example. Cause I’ve been watching Scientology documentaries. Yeah. Recently funny, but I’m interested in Scientology these. Yeah, no, that’s crazy why they have five Oh one C3 status.

I don’t know how they have modern day religion being started. Tom cruise. Um, we’re probably going to get shut down now. Scientology come after us. We shouldn’t have talked about. But like there’s tactics that they use that have been used inside of, of religions for a long time, the idea of shunning, um, like you disagree your a, they have a term for it, but a divisive person, then you’re cut off from the rest of the group.

Um, and it’s the same tactics, oftentimes that unfortunately Christians are using too, that we shun and we cut people off from the group. Then that’s not the point now, is there a time. That would have to come to the point where you have to take a separation between the health of the community and an individual that chooses not to be a part of the community.

Yeah. 100% should be, should be very rare. So far down the road of tools in the tool chest. Like you better bet through every other tool, you’ve got to be able to get to that place. And if you only got five tools, you have not gone far enough. Um, like someone’s gotta be walking with them. But yeah, cutting people out, labeling them in certain ways.

Like this is anti kingdom. Like the beautiful thing is you can be a murderer. You could be a we’ll go as far as even a rapist. And the beautiful thing about the gospel is it’s is it can still reach you no matter what you’ve done, the gospel is redeeming. Yep. No matter where you’ve been, the gospel is redeeming and that’s the beauty of what we follow Jesus then is there’s nothing that can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ.

There’s nothing, there’s no sin that I can commit. There’s nothing I can do. That’s going to make that separation. And that’s the beauty of where we live, but yet we don’t operate oftentimes in that. Yeah, we don’t want to, we don’t want it to hurt our testimony or we don’t want it to affect our life. And maybe we’re going to end up sending if we go into those things.

And that’s, that’s the fear of it all. Um, like I get it. I get how we get there, but, um, at the same time, if we’re called to love people’s lives are messy and we’re going to get into messy places. But to label them, um, you know, you’re just, you’re just a Rocky soil. Like, you know, you’re just, you’re just so shallow in your faith now.

No wonder you can’t understand these things. No, that’s not the, our responses. Um, man, this guy’s in a Rocky place. Like, ah, that’s the breaks my heart that they can’t understand what I’m trying to say. What my, my, well, my options should be actually present. Opportunities are going to help them understand the kingdom better.

Yeah. Um, and if he wants to take him great, if he doesn’t okay, but I’m gonna keep presenting those opportunities. I’m not gonna sit there, just constantly preaching them because we’ve seen that play out. So yeah. Uh, in Christianity, um, we’re going to let Jesus do what Jesus does and let him do the preaching and the speaking into someone’s heart.

And I’m just going to. Be around and, and love. Well, um, so they have opportunity to come to continually come in contact with Jesus because Jesus lives inside of me. I’m a vessel of his I’m his temple as, as the new Testament tells us. Um, so I’m a walking representation of Christ incarnate. I’m not Christ.

Let’s be very clear about that. Um, but if I’m still around, I’m still engaging. They’re going to have more and more opportunity to just to see what this new kingdom looks like. They’re going to have opportunities to see what this gospel looks like. Specially, when I screw up and I asked for forgiveness, right?

Like that’s gospel and action. I’m forgiven. We get to move on from this. Um, Like, there’s that beautiful thing of it too. I think it’s worth pointing out. I don’t know how far we’ve gotten away from the parable itself. Um, we might’ve gone off the deep end, but 

Andrew: no, we’re in the personal interpretations, tangents encouraged phase of this discussion.

There’s three phases of this where it’s cultural context and what was spoken, uh, personal interpretations tangents, welcome, and how to apply this day to day. And dude, um, Wanted to say a couple things popped out while you were talking. Um, when you were talking about people, labeling people and it might, people might not say in their mind or their heart, Oh, they’re there, they’re in a Rocky place.

They’re a thorny place. They might not say it that way, but they might say to themselves, they’ll never be a Christ follower. That person will never know Christ. They’re so far from God. They’re their heart is hardened. Uh, we hear that sometimes in the church, um, heard a couple of times their heart is hard and they’re never going to accept the gospel.

Um, what you’re doing when you’re making that type of statement or you’re having that type of thought. Um, which again, it’s redeemable. If you’ve had these thoughts, you’ve made these statements. It’s redeemable. We see that with the thief on the cross, you know, that we talked about in one of our last episodes where this guy was on death store, literally hanging on a cross, Jesus said today, surely you’ll would be with me in paradise.

You know, he’s ready to extend grace all the time. Um, but when you’re labeling people and you’re saying you’re. Uh, you’re never going to accept Christ or you might accept Christ or you whatever. Like when you’re labeling them, what you’re really doing is you’re putting yourself in the judgment seat of God.

And you’re saying, I. I know enough to understand their soul and the shape it’s in right now. I know enough to predict the future and make a statement of they will never, or they will, or they won’t, or they never would like you’re, you’re putting yourself in God’s seat. Like that’s not our, it’s not our role.

Um, and we don’t have the authority or the power or the understanding to be able to do that, to be able to see somebody. So we can see the actions of right now. We can see the, the story or the piece of their story that we can see. But man alive, I don’t want to be able to judge people’s souls and I don’t want to think I can, uh, because it’s not a place where we’re supposed to be.

But then secondly, you were talking about, you know, kind of preach, uh, with your words or with your actions or with both, but then go and live well. Uh, and let God do what he’s going to do in that person’s story. I think that’s so key, like, uh, just live a life that other people would desire. Anyway, that doesn’t mean you have to like, change your personality and become the most like.

Energetic, inviting person ever. You don’t have to act like somebody you’re not and have a life that everybody wants to like, Ooh, I want to be their friend. Like no, be authentic, but, but live well and live from a place of hope live from, we went on a big tangent of like, don’t find your hope in politics.

Uh, when we talked last, because don’t, there’s no hope there long-term, if there’s any hope it’s re it’s for a day. But then it’s, it’s ruined. So find your hope in Jesus and man live like you have hope because that’s, that’s exciting. That’s encouraging, that’s attractive, you know, that might make people want to ask, like, Why are you so hopeful?

Why are you so happy? Well, how do you seem like you are happy, even though you just had all this bad stuff happened? Why do you, why are you always kind to me, even though I’m a jerk to you half the time, you know, like those questions come up, but only if you’re living out of a real place. I hope so. I just liked that it’s not your job to label people souls and.

It is your job to, to live well, um, every day, uh, live fully every day as fully as you can. So, yeah, that’s what 

Josh: stuck out to me. There’s this whole thing of like, with these four paths, I’m in the good soil, being the place where the gospel takes root it, flourishes, it reproduce itself. Um, is Jesus described in these verses?

Um, like. And we’ll, we’ll cover this parable at some point, but you know, the good shepherd and how Jesus describes, um, the sheep and he’s the gatekeeper and, and those things. Um, there’s a statement in that verse that Jesus makes, um, that says, you know, they know my voice, I know them and they follow me. And that’s really what, what the point of this sower is, is the good soil are the people that know Jesus, his voice.

Um, now some of that is done on their own. Accord and they’ve pursued Jesus. Um, they’ve pursued this relationship. They’ve done their part in this relationship has become more and more fruitful. Um, others because Jesus entered into their lives in such a miraculous way that they now have a relationship with Jesus.

Um, but it’s worth pointing out that. Followers of Jesus know Jesus voice. So when we read parables, we read scripture, we know what Jesus is trying to tell us in those moments, because we’ve journeyed along with them long enough to know his voice. Um, now if you’re sitting in a place and you’re like, man, I read a lot of scripture and none of it makes sense to me.

Um, are you in a bad place? No, not necessarily, um, like if your response to that it is no, no, no. I really want to understand what he’s trying to tell me. Awesome. Great. Yeah. If your response to it is, or other’s response to it is, um, yeah, this makes no sense to me. It’s old. It’s, it’s, uh, historic. None of it like none of it’s applicable to I left today.

Well, that’s, there’s a hard heart going on there. There’s another way we approach that. We love them. Well, uh, right. Um, but the depth of conversation and the kingdom are going to be. Rather limited, but if you find yourself in one of those two places, like if you find yourself in place in a Rocky place, your faith feels shallow.

It doesn’t feel like it survives with the ebbs and flows and the trials of life. Then. Give us, somebody have a conversation with Jesus and talk about those hard things of like, Jesus. I feel like my faith is, is, is weak. I feel like it, it can be, you know, thrown from once we talked about this awhile back of this idea of like, it’s really easy to follow Jesus when life is good, but when life is hard, It reveals what we’re really putting our trust in.

Is it Jesus or is it something else? And if that’s where you’re at, then have those hard conversations with, with Jesus. You’re finding it difficult to have those conversations with Jesus. Like you don’t feel like it’s, um, a two-sided then have that conversation with someone who loves Jesus and loves you in that order.

Um, You know, be honest about, Hey, this is where I’m at. That’s not a bad thing. That’s not a scary thing. Um, don’t feel like it is have your doubts. Like this is the beautiful thing about Christianity. I think compared to most religions out there, the relationship with Jesus Christianity, like you can have doubts.

Jesus is more than capable of handling your debt. He more than capable of hearing them, understanding them and helping you understand where you’re at. Um, like he’s not scared of those things. It’s not going to affect whether or not it’s not like, you know, the Christmas, you know, uh, Santa Claus of like, if you, if there’s not enough Christmas spirit, then Santa Claus starts disappearing.

That’s right. Like, no, Jesus, Jesus is there. He ain’t going anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you believe him or not. He’s, he’s still there. Um, and. Digging into that, uh, is more than acceptable having doubts about it or more than acceptable. What’s not acceptable on those doubts is just sitting in the doubt and not exploring it, not having conversations with others about it.

Like Jesus can handle your doubt, but your faith can’t handle your doubt. And if that’s where you find yourself, as you’re just accepting doubt. That it’s always going to be this way. Um, you’re, you’re in a Rocky or a thorny place. Um, you’re in a place where eventually, um, the trials are going to get you and you’re gonna, you’re probably gonna walk away from your faith.

Um, if you don’t keep fighting, uh, for, and that’s the beautiful thing about Christianity too? Yes. Intellectually Christianity stands up. Um, you can argue this and that, but Christianity stands its ground. It’s not a, it’s not a stupid man’s religion, as some may like to say, like you can dig into the depths of it.

Um, this is where apologetics comes into play, at least from the benefit perspective. Like yeah, it can stand up now. I don’t think it’s helpful in arguing if those that don’t believe that you believe. Um, I don’t think it winds people’s over winds, wind people over to the gospel, but, um, Like it plays a role in at least in digging into the doubts that you may be carrying as a follower of Jesus.

Um, but dig into those things, it’s worth digging into those things. So you don’t find a place where you feel like the gospel has taken root. You don’t feel like it’s flourishing in your life. You don’t feel like it’s reproducing a hundred fold as Jesus described here. And that’s okay. But, but pursue those things, um, and pursue that relationship with Jesus and pursue those doubts, um, where things just don’t seem to be lining up for you.

Um, because you know, those are the things that are going to, going to get you into good soil. Those are the things you’re going to till the soil and get it to a good place, uh, and not let those those weeds or, or, you know, the shallowness of the faith, um, be taken over, 

Andrew: man, I think. I don’t know if it’s good or bad that, uh, okay.

This might just be me. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe you can tell me I’m crazy, but when I take a personality test or when I hear about one or hear about the end of your gram or any type of thing, like what type of dog are you? You know, test doesn’t matter. I always want 

Josh: to know. I 

Andrew: don’t know. I don’t know, but I know that’s a test that goes around, like, are you a Labrador?

Are you a pit bull or whatever, but, uh, but like, I always want to know exactly what my result is or what my type is or what my, what my implications are for me, you know? And I just want to caution people if you’re listening to this, like, I don’t know, I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying. Uh, if you’re trying to follow Jesus and you’re trying to have a relationship with Jesus, if you’re pursuing that, I wouldn’t worry.

Man am I the, am I the Christian, the Christ follower. Who’s going to be choked out quickly by the worries of this world. Um, am I going to be choked out by affliction and persecution and turn my back on Christ in that moment as this passage says later, as Jesus explained it, like, or am I going to be kind of pushed away by the worries and the deception of money in this world?

I don’t know. You don’t know either, but like worrying about it right now. Isn’t I just don’t think it’s helpful. You don’t have to type yourself. You don’t have to say this is the type of soil I am. If you’re focused on relationship with God and you’re pursuing, looking more and more like Jesus and knowing him in a more personal way, um, then.

Don’t worry about that. Suspend your worry. If, if you’re like me and you quickly think, well, what type am I? Am I ABCD? Or a one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, whatever, you know, like. Suspend that it’s just not helpful. You know, like it’s not gonna bring you hope, uh, just pursue relationship with the Lord as honestly, as directly as you can, would be my encouragement to you rather than focusing on, on worry of what type of soil am I metaphorically.

Josh: And, and I’ll just add a caveat to that. Like, if you know what soil you are. Like you don’t have to, you don’t have to dig into it. Uh you’re like, Oh yeah, I’m definitely shallow. I, I guess see my faith swaying from side to side. That’s where digging into what Jesus sure. Just trying to say, but if you’re looking at it saying, well, which 1:00 AM I, am I the good soil?

It doesn’t matter. In all reality, like it just matters that you’re pursuing your relationship with Jesus. Are you pursuing and fostering what you can from your side? Um, and, and that’s really the piece that that’s going to, um, continue to shape you in who Jesus called you to be, right. Like there is nothing else you could read every self-help book.

Um, you could understand, uh, all the personality types to the end, the degree, none of that helps you in becoming who Jesus called you to be. Yeah. Period. Becoming closer with who Jesus is becoming closer and relationship with Jesus. Those are the things that are going to sanctify you. Those are the things that are going to mold you into the creation that he’s called you to be.

Um, those are the things that are going to help you conquer temptations in your life. Um, that relationship is the source of all of our life. And I think we miss that. I think because at times it can feel difficult at times it can feel stagnant. Um, that in those moments, we think that we, we gotta find something else.

We gotta find a different source. And I think this is how the enemy gets us off track. Um, I think the enemy, um, gets us to this place where, um, we think we need more. So we start to supplement with other things and Jesus is very clear. His word is enough. And when I say his word, I mean him himself, the spoken word that’s recorded the Bible.

Great. But him himself as the word, the word is enough. Jesus is enough. So if I continue to pursue that relationship with Jesus, he’s going to continue to shape mold me into who he’s called me to be. If I continue to pursue that relationship with Jesus is going to help me love him and love people better.

If he continue. If I continue to invest in that relationship with Jesus, I am going to be a better person and following in loving or sorry in loving myself. Um, right. Like all these things come out of, of that source of life with just Christ and Christ crucified. Um, oftentimes we started a supplement with all these other things because we just don’t think we’re getting enough from Jesus.

I’m telling you the fruitfulness of our relationship with Jesus. There’s nothing that compares. Um, and if you’re not at that place, that’s okay. Keep pursuing, you’ll find that place. I promise you that. Um, but that is the source of all life. That is like my source of hope in the hardest of situations.

Right. And I wonder too, like, what happens if life wasn’t good? Where am I really at? Like, maybe I am in thorns. Maybe I have allegiances to things that, that aren’t Jesus, I’m putting my trust in things that aren’t Christ. Um, but why is it worth pursuing those things? Cause like, as long as you let me in crappy places, why don’t you just enjoy where I’m at right now?

Um, and when those things show up, if there’s things that show up that I’m putting my trust in that aren’t Jesus, then let me repent to those things and dig into those things with Jesus. So he can continue to shape me and who he’s called me to be. Um, and that’s okay. Repentance is not a bad thing, or you’re a horrible person thing.

It’s a Jesus. I tried, I tried a different way that wasn’t your way. And I. I recognize that it’s just not working. I need to come back to you. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not a year of guilty. And Jesus is going to throw his hammer at, you know, the beautiful thing about the gospel is Jesus.

Ain’t gonna throw his hammer at, you know, he threw his hammer at himself. He took on your sins on himself. Yeah. And then he died for those sins. Conquering it. Yep. That’s the beauty of the relationship with Jesus? That’s the beauty of what this all is. This Jesus life, um, is we get to chase after. So enjoy where you’re at.

Continue pursuing Jesus. Cause you shouldn’t stay there. Um, but yeah, like Andrea said, don’t spend too much time trying to figure out which one you are or which one the people in your life are as we love to do with the immigrant. Um, and be careful. And I’ll, I’ll say this too, cause we’ve talked about the Enneagram, uh, be careful on how much trust and hope you put in those types of things.

Um, like you don’t need a number to be who you are. Um, you don’t need a, uh, type to be who you are. You don’t need, uh, a Myers-Brigg abbreviations. There’ll be who you are, be who Jesus called you to be and chase after those things. Um, And don’t let anything else supplement in that place. Let Jesus be your source of life.

Andrew: Exactly. They’re just tools. You know, like if you’re building something, if I’m doing literal woodwork, I’m going to need a tape measure, but I don’t need to carry a tape measure with me every day because I’m doing woodwork once every couple of months, you know, it’s not what I do all the time, uh, in the same way, man.

You can learn some stuff about yourself. To me, it’s fascinating of what Enneagram type I am, what am B Myers-Brigg type, all this stuff, you know, but it’s, it’s not the gospel. It’s not the good news. It’s interesting news. 

Josh: And I would argue it’s not even supplemental. No, I 

Andrew: wouldn’t say it’s, I wouldn’t say it’s supplemental at all.

I’d just say it’s interesting, you know, like to understand yourself for others a little bit better, but it’s not supplemental to the gospel. You don’t need it. You mean any way? Uh, you don’t, if you go through your whole life, not knowing what your Myers-Briggs number is, you’re just fine. Like your life didn’t get any worse or better by knowing it, um, in my opinion.

So, um, just a tool that you can use if you want, sometimes you need a tape measure most of the time you don’t. Uh, so that’s kinda how I view that. Even though sometimes I spend too much time thinking about that stuff. Um, 

Josh: That’s good. Yeah. So I think the, if we were to sum all this up in a, a single couple of, of statements, um, you know, the reality is all humanity, um, finds themselves at different places of understanding who Jesus was and the kingdom that he ushered in.

Um, we’re all on a journey. Um, I think at times it can be harmful, um, to put people in. Um, positions or places or labels that just isn’t true because the chemo God, isn’t that, um, as we pursue Jesus, we’re going to become more like Jesus. Um, and that’s a beautiful thing. Um, And no matter how ugly life gets, Jesus is more than capable of redeeming it.

That’s another beautiful thing. That is the gospel in itself. Now I read through these and you’re like, man, I feel like I’m in Rocky place. And the Rocky soil defines my life. I, Evan flow depending on the trials in my life. That’s okay. Um, I think it’s worth digging into a Jesus. I think it’s worth digging in to of those that love Jesus and love you in that order.

Um, Just to see what’s really going on. And how do you have greater faith in Christ? Well, greater faith in Christ comes with the journey and walking with Jesus. I’m letting you know, going through the hard times, um, because there will be hard times as Jesus promised us, but remembering that he has overcome this world.

So holding onto that faith, um, that’s where we find hope. And hope is attractive. Um, kind of going back to our first statements that we made, um, hope is so attractive that you better be given, be ready to give an account for that hope. That’s right. Somebody’s got to be asking it in a malicious way. Not to do it in a harmful way, but just to give an account why you have hope and leave it at that and let them make the decision on whether or not they want to pursue that same hope 

Andrew: he, who as healers, let him here.

Josh: Yeah, there we go. Hey, if you had a different interpretation of these verses, as you kind of dug into it, but Jesus yourself, and that’s our hope and our prayer, right? Like there’s a reason that we don’t read them. Um, and one of those reasons is we want you to read them. We want you to read them in relationship with Jesus.

Um, we think that’s important to your relationship with Jesus, and that’s why we chose to paraphrase and kind of tell it in our own, um, voices rather than reading scripture for exactly as the scripture is written. Um, because we want you to read it. So if you read it, then he interpreted a different way.

You get something else out of it. We want to hear that, Tom. So he would email us a hello@thisuselifepodcast.com and we will get those stories. And, um, we love to be encouraged by what God is doing in your life, and also learn from you. Um, as you’re, as Jesus telling you other things, there may be things that are like now, and I want to apply that to my life as well because Jesus were billing it to me through email.

So thanks for joining with us. 

Andrew: Thanks for listening to our show. It really means a lot to us. And we hope that it helps bring you closer in your relationship with Jesus and with other 

Josh: people. And also helps us out if you rate our podcast or leave us a review on whatever platform you’re listening on and also follow us on Instagram and the Facebook.

Now sharing this with your friends. Isn’t just to get the word out of the podcast. We believe that we have the message of hope that’s found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and you sharing. This has the ability to transform. The lives of the people around you. We want to 

Andrew: hear from you. You can email us@helloatthisjesuslifepodcast.com.

You can message us on Facebook and Instagram, or you can just visit us@thisjesuslifepodcast.com. But seriously, thanks for listening.

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