By: Carole L. Haines
Jesus was the most sought-after man of His day, but not all were seeking Him in ways they could find Him. He was found by some but missed by many. It depended upon the motive by which they would seek Him.
“Who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him.” (Luke 9:9b)
Herod was one of the people who sought Jesus, but in a merely trivial way, as a curiosity of sorts. There are four different kinds of soil for the seeds for the gospel to fall on.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
Four different soils, motives or reasons for seeking Christ. I believe that Herod the Tetrarch was the first soil, he did not understand who Jesus really was and it was snatched away. He later would treat this same man whom He had been so curious about, with mockery, abuse, and contempt. (Luke 23:7–12).
I remember feeling hard-hearted and bitter, full of the cares of this world and praying,
“God, can my soil change? Do I have to stay as the third soil, the one growing among the thorns? Can You please change me from this worried, bitter woman into one of good soil? I want to change, Lord”
He has and still is answering that prayer, He is transforming me so deeply. There have been many victories, but a lot of it was through suffering and loss. God’s word says about Jesus,
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8)
If the Holy Son of God learned obedience from the things He suffered, surely we must know we will suffer often in our transformation and growth. But brothers and sisters, it is so worth the price. The freedom and joy I am experiencing now cannot be compared to who I used to be. There is so much further to go, but the journey is for all of this life. There is book called, “A long obedience in the same direction,” by Eugene H. Peterson. That title says it all. Our transformation is a long obedience in the same direction, always fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). God can change you and grow you and make you whole. It will take a lifetime with all of us, and suffering will be involved, but it is worth it. He is worth it. Fix your gaze on Him and journey on.