One message. Different responses. Jesus often spoke in parables, revealing deep biblical truths within a story. This was intentional. Not to be confusing, but to showcase one's own heart. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about God's word and man's response to it. Discover the power of how we ought to engage with the truths in God's word, bearing fruit for His kingdom. . . . . . Wanting to find out more about your next step?
And good morning. You know, it’s great to be back together with you. At least wait for me to be back together after a few weeks hiatus. This morning we’re going to continue on in the ministry of Jesus and we’re going to look at Mark chapter four, which is the passage we just read and we’re going to to try to cover the better part of those 34 verses. And I know that’s a lot for me.
Most of the time we could preach the whole sermon on one or two verses, but most of the time we preach five or six versus on a Sunday morning. Of course we could spend a lot more time on each of them or maybe dissect one at a time. But we’re trying to keep this thing moving, right? Like the goal is to get through the ministry of Jesus and if I take every parable one at a time we’re going to be here for like a decade or something like that. There are a lot of parables in the Bible, something like 40 of them.
So each week we would do a whole year just on parables and so I don’t want to do that. So we’re just going to take a big chunk today and then next week we’re going to dissect one and then the week after that we’re going to dissect another. And then we’ll call it a day for the parables. Good? Awesome.
So you can turn with me to Mark chapter four. We’re going to look at it together and I want to tell you as you’re turning there where we are in the ministry of Jesus. We have been looking at this map to kind of help us out, to figure out exactly where we’ve been. And we have been on the northwestern side of the Sea of Galilee in a place called Capernaum or what we call Galilee, which is kind of this whole large area up here. We have been there for about a year and we will continue to be there for a little bit longer.
This time in Jesus ministry is called his Galilean ministry because he’s in Galilee and he’s been teaching there and preaching there and healing there and proclaiming something that he calls the Kingdom of God. And while he’s doing that Jesus has been drawing a super, super large crowd. The crowds, they have three distinct groups of people in those crowds and I want to tell you who those are. We’ve been talking about this before but I want to just give a little bit of a refresher. Jesus has been gaining disciples in the crowd.
His disciples, his students, his followers, his what they call notitase those who have kind of bought into his world view. They are the disciples, right? And they’re following him, they’re learning from Him. They’re sort of being covered in the dust of his truth. He’s been developing twelve guys that we call the Apostles and then a group of about another 120 or so guys that he is just developing and teaching.
They are his disciples. Jesus, wherever he goes, is gaining some true followers, some true disciples. Jesus is also gaining a bunch of the multitudes. These are the people that are just in the crowds. They’re really there to have their needs met, to be healed, to be transformed, to have physical needs met.
Some are blind, some are outcasts, some are poor, some are hungry. And they are flocking to Jesus because Jesus is providing an outlet for their physical needs to be healed. This group is numbering in the thousands as of this sermon, but by the time we get to John, chapter six, there will be numbering in the tens of thousands. It will be 10,000 men plus women and children, which some scholars will bring us to about 25,000 people that are just following Jesus everywhere he goes. Jesus is also drawing the haters.
Last week, we read it right? The people, the scribes, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, they’re in the crowds, too. They’re watching, they’re listening, and they’re waiting for a moment where they can accuse and then ultimately kill Jesus. Last week we read that they are the people telling the crowds that Jesus is not healing them by way of God, but instead he’s healing them by way of Satan. They’re in the crowd, too. And so it’s these three groups of people who are gathered around Jesus as Jesus begins to teach in parables.
We read it, but let’s just read it again. This is the wrong passage. There we go. And again, Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowds that gathered around him was so large that multitudes, the disciples, the haters, that he got into the boat and sat in it out on the lake while the other people were along the shore at the water’s edge.
He taught them many things by parable. Here, the Bible says that the crowds are so large that Jesus gets into a boat and uses the water as kind of an amplification device. The people are gathered on the seashore and they’re listening to him. And unlike the early portions of the Gospel, where Jesus would just teach in kind of a lecture style using prose, this time he teaches them exclusively using something called a parable. Parables.
Let me talk for a few moments about a parable. The root word of the word parable is the word para, which means to be alongside. And so what is a parable? Well, it’s a truth laid alongside a story. You could put it this way, a story that tells a biblical truth. That is a parable.
And Jesus told a lot of them, as I mentioned, something like 40 during his ministry. Each highlighted something about him or about God, or about God’s people or God’s kingdom. And that’s the parable. So again, this is what we’re looking at, these parables, these stories. And we realize why he tells them, right?
It says it in that passage we read. It also says it in Mark chapter 13. He says he tells these parables so that people would hear and understand and that other people would hear and not understand. It’s kind of an interesting way of teaching, right? Jesus is such a masterful teacher that he’s able to say something, and some people go, huh?
And some people go, oh, right? He tells these truths, these stories alongside truths. And there are people who are listening and going, oh, this is so clear to me. And there are other people who are listening going, I have no idea what that dude is saying. And so hopefully you understand it.
Because if you understand it, what it means is that you wanted to understand it. And if you don’t understand it, it means you didn’t want to understand it. So today, again, we’re going to cover some of these parables. We’re going to look at them together. And while we’re doing that, we’re actually going to answer one question.
And the question that we’re going to answer is critical to the whole issue of parables. But I think larger than that, it relates to how we take on the entire library of scripture. And it’s this is the question we’re going to answer. How should we engage with the truths in the word of God or in God’s word? Here’s what we are going to do.
First, parable is going to be give us a general principle today, and then we’re going to look at the next three for some practical application. Are you with me? All right, come on. Thank you. I appreciate all of you who are with me.
Okay, first parable. We read it, so I’m not going to reread it. Here’s a quick overview. A farmer goes out to sow some seeds. A farmer on his person has a satchel full of seeds. There are hundreds and thousands, possibly even millions of seeds in this little baggie of his.
And he reaches his hand into the baggie and he throws them. It’s a farming word, but it’s also a word we use today. It’s called broadcasting. He takes all of the seeds in his hands and he just throws them. I was contemplating throwing some seeds into the congregation today, but then I thought that Mary Hatoway would not be happy with me, so I decided not to do it.
So anyway, it’s a handful of seeds, throws them everywhere. In the Bible say, some fall on paths and the birds eat them up. Some fall on rocks and they grow quickly. And then they have no soil, so they wither quickly. Some fall on seeds and they’re choked by other plants and some fall on good soil and then those 30 x 60 x 100 x, they grow, grow, grow, right? Jesus tells the story to the crowds and then he moves on. He gives no explanation until the disciples essentially asked him for an explanation and he tells them what it means. And what do we learn from that? Well, he says there are four types of soil, but really there are only two types of soil.
One type of soil that is receptive to the Word and another type of soil that when they receive the Word, nothing is produced. The path, the rocky soil and the thorny or the weedy soil, they produce nothing. And the reason they produce nothing is because they don’t listen to the Word. And also they don’t respond to the Word. But the one who grows 30 fold and 60 fold and 100 fold, they have a very different response to the Word.
The Bible says this, that they hear the Word and accept it. What’s Jesus’ point? Remember you have the crowds, right? Jesus on the boat, he’s talking to the crowds and he’s going, look around. In this crowd are four types of soil. In the crowd here are these four soil types.
These two soil types in the crowd here before me, these tens of thousands of people who have come to listen to me teach. There are some of you who are going to respond and there are some of you who are going to refuse to respond. That’s what he’s telling them, right? There are the indifferent, there are the hate filled and then there are the followers. And Jesus, I think, is trying to help them evaluate who they are.
And really that’s my hope today. I hope today, by the end of this time to help you evaluate where you are. So here in this little story, Jesus tells us, hey, what is it that sets the disciple apart from the rest of the world? What sets the disciple apart from every other group in the world? And it’s one thing.
It’s one thing and one thing alone. The disciple had a willingness to hear and accept the Word of God.
Look, their response, the disciples response, our response is that we should have the willingness to accept the words of God to be receptive to the impact that this Bible wants to have on our life. We hear and we respond to it. And look, what Jesus is saying is the distinguishing characteristic of a true Christian is really very little to do with anything of any sort of act. It’s not some prayer. It’s not some response.
It’s not even some church attendance. The distinguishing characteristic is the person who is a disciple hears the Word, believes the Word, loves the Word, obeys the Word, cherishes the Word, proclaims the Word, and then build their lives around the word. If you were in the crowd that day, you may be standing there asking, well, what category of person am I? Who am I? Maybe you’re asking that question now.
What category of person am I? Am I a true believer. Am I a hater? Am I just part of the multitudes?
And Jesus is trying to make it really clear with this parable that, again, the distinguishing characteristic is not some past act. It’s not some attendance at a service. It’s responsiveness to the truths of God’s Word. How do you respond to the truths of God’s Word? In fact, Jesus echoes this idea with another illustration in John, chapter ten, where he’s talking about Himself as the good shepherd.
You might remember this john, chapter ten, verse three, he says, what do the sheep do? The sheep listen to his voice. Am I a disciple? Here’s a good question. How do you do listening to his voice?
Do you listen when he calls? Or verse four, he says his sheep follow Him because they know his voice. Again, here’s a good question for you. Do you know his voice? Can you distinguish his voice from the world’s voice?
Go down to verse 26 in the same chapter, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they know me. Again, what’s the distinguishing quality of a disciple? Receptivity to the voice of God. And where is that voice conveyed to us in the Scriptures?
You want an easy way to tell you how to tell how you’re doing with your faith. You can ask yourself this question: how do I respond when I hear the words of God? How do you respond? Do you change your life? Do you adjust your thinking?
Do you respond in haste when you listen to a word being preached? You go, all right, yeah, I need to change right now. I need to change right now. Are you defensive? Oh, I don’t really want to change because that would make me seem like a holier than now christian. Are you quick to repent? When God calls you somewhere or to do something or to speak life into someone, to pray for someone to do a good work? When God calls you to leave your life of sin and to embrace his grace, do you respond? You want to know how you’re doing spiritually? Answer yourself this question. How do I respond when God’s word speaks to me?
You want to know how you’re doing spiritually? Well, here’s another question you can ask yourself. You can ask yourself this question right now. This is a little spicy one. Is there something God’s Word is calling me to do that I’m unwilling to do?
If the answer to this question is no, then probably you’re on some shaky ground spiritually. I’m just letting you know that’s what Jesus is teaching us. The sheep respond to his voice. When he speaks, they come. It’s like when your mom calls, it’s time for dinner and you go, okay, mom. It’s that calling home thing, right? As the disciple of Jesus, we build our lives and our thinking around this book that we study. The teachings and the principles of the Bible guide how we parent. They’re supposed to guide how we spend money, how we respond to our kids, how we treat our spouses. This book should regulate our feelings.
It should determine our dreams. It should give us our goals. As disciples, you and I are free from the tyranny of our own opinions. You know what? It doesn’t matter what you think.
If God’s Word makes something plain, you should have no unique opinion about it. There’s no unique opinion about whether or not divorce is good, because the Bible has made it clear that’s not God’s intention. So why are we even thinking about it? Why are we even having the conversation? I have no individualized opinion about sexuality.
I have no individualized opinion about justice or about war or about what murder is or about how to treat my parents or whether or not I should live my truth or live in the truth. I don’t have one because the Word tells me what I am to think and what I’m not to think. It tells me my goals and my dreams. And look, here’s the thing that you and I need to fight with and battle with. Is there something God is prompting me to do that I am unwilling to do or asking me to think that I’m unwilling to think? Or asking me to act that I’m unwilling to act. And of course, none of us are going to do this perfectly, but, man, we should love that we are under the control of God Almighty, compelled by His Word, that His Word is a lamp unto our feet. The haters reject him. Reject his teachings.
The indifferent just choose not to listen and only want whatever satisfies their pleasure. But as a disciple, man, the voice of God, again, is just calling us home to where we ought to be. That’s the theme of these parables. They’re kind of a test for our soil, for our responsiveness. The first parable, again, it tells us about the superficial response, right?
The rocky soil is a perfect illustration of that. The superficial response. The weedy soil is an initial response. They come up, but they’re choked up, and both eventually proved to be shallow or not fruitful. But then you get to the good soil.
And what is the good soil? They hear the Word, they embrace it, and they become fruitful. Well, fruitful how? Well, fruitful in terms of the impact, right, in their ability to make their world and the world of those around them more like heaven. You respond to God’s Word, and all of a sudden there’s a little bit of, like a glow in you.
You change the world of all the concentric circles, right, that just your life impacts another person’s life, which impacts your neighbor’s life and your neighbors life impacts other people’s lives. And that’s what the Bible is saying. You have the ability to go from your little old life to a life that could change the world. An ability to heal and to help and to challenge and to teach and to save and to reach. You become a blessing to the world, to your world, to your family’s world, but also to the world at large. As you learn to live the good life as described by Jesus himself, to embrace the truth of the gospel, the lifestyle of a disciple.
And Jesus, what he does is he then sets into motion this idea where you are given life and you have it to the full, and everyone around you listens, and they are given life and they can have it to the full. God takes you from a single investment and 100 X’s your life. And so that’s what we learned, right? That’s the first principle. Again, what distinguishes a disciple from the crowd is the way they respond to the Scriptures.
That’s what Jesus says. And he says, this is important. You want to know the rest of the parables, you have to catch this. In fact, he says as much when he says in verse 13, don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
If you don’t understand this, you’re not going to understand any parable. If you don’t understand that, how you respond to the Word is what he’s talking about, you’re not going to understand the rest of it. Okay, so we’re trying to answer this question with the next three parables. How should we engage with the truths of God’s Word? So I want to give you three things, sort of like a three part sermon, but just condensed.
Three things. How do we engage? How do we engage with the truth of God? Number one, we practice. Practice. Not a game. Practice. That’s an Alan Iverson joke. All right, here we go. He said to them, this is the second parable, do you bring a lamp and put it under a bowl or bed? Instead don’t you put it on a stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. This parable is simple. It’s a truism, right?
What is he saying? If you have been given light, you’re supposed to let it shine.
There you go. Right? That’s the principle. Harry Dixon Lowe wrote that song in 1920. This little light of mine. It’s a children’s song, but during the civil rights movement, the song famously was tied to civil rights leader Fanny Lou Hammer, who, while being detained by police because she was trying to register to vote, she sang the song in the back seat of the police car.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. And actually, this is a really good illustration of what this parable is trying to say. And it’s this: when you have been privileged with truth and you can make the world better, you use it. This is integral to the very giving of the light. Right?
You have been given the light to let it shine. That’s what Jesus is saying. You have been given truth to bring the truth to the world. In other words, if you’ve been given the Gospel, given the privilege of knowing the Gospel, you’re supposed to use it. It’s a lamp, right?
And nobody would take the lamp. It’s like basically a candle essentially. No one would take the candle and put it under a bowl or a basket. No one would do that.
Why wouldn’t you do that? Because that would defeat the purpose of having the light. And also you would start a fire. That’s the other thing that would happen. And you also don’t put it under a bed because also you would start a fire.
I do think there’s something there. I don’t know what it is exactly. But the point is it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. You get that, everyone gets that.
You have been given truth, so use it. Do you understand the parable? You have been given the privilege of truth, so use it. Every week you come in and you listen to sermons. If you do nothing with the words that you heard, you are hiding the bowl or hiding the light under a bowl.
Every time you read your Bible and you open it up and you read the Scriptures and it says how you’re supposed to live. If you do nothing with it, you are hiding it under a bed. And not only is it ridiculous, but it also has the potential to start a fire in your life. A pretty negative response, right? What are you supposed to do?
You’re supposed to use it to make your life and the life of those around you a little bit more like heaven. I love what Psalm 119 says. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. I use it to guide the way I live.
I use God’s word to guide the way I live. That should be a statement you can say without any dishonesty. You use God’s word to navigate life. You don’t just read it. You don’t just listen to it being preached.
You don’t just sing songs about God’s word, about his love, about his calling, and do nothing with it. Instead, you put it on a stand and you let it shine. Do something with the truths of God’s Word that you’ve been given. Change something in your life, repent of something, help someone, guide someone to truth, teach someone, reach someone, challenge yourself. Put it into practice.
And I love the word practice because it tells me I’m not going to be good at it right away. You’re going to try and you’re going to be really terrible at it and then you’re going to have to try it again. And then you’re going to be really bad and try it again and try it again and try it again and try it again and try it again because you believe that God’s Word is truth and that it will guide your life if you use it. Number one, how do you engage with the words of God? How do you engage?
You practice. You practice. And then, number two, we trust. Trust it. Trust God’s timing, trust the process.
Then he gives us this beautiful illustration, verse 26. I love this thing. Sorry for so many words. He also said, this is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seeds on the ground, right? That’s the guy’s job.
He’s broadcasting seeds night and day. Whether he sleeps or he gets up, the seed sprouts and grows. Look at this next line. Though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces grain. First the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel and the head.
As soon as the grain is ripe, he the farmer, all he’s done is done this. He doesn’t do anything in the growing. But guess what? He gets to reap the harvest.
The farmer plants, and then the farmer goes to bed. He tills the soil, but apart from that, he can’t really do anything but wait for the harvest. In other words, he plays no role in the fulfillment of the fruit that is to be seen later on. What’s the point? When you plant and when you water, in other words, when you obey, when you let your light shine, when you do what God says, you also have to trust. Trust that in his timing, he will bring about something beautiful. I want to just stop and make a little point that I think would be helpful. You cannot manipulate God into blessing you by obeying Him. Does that make sense?
Like, you’re not like, oh, I’m going to be kind to my husband today so that maybe I’ll get a raise. You know what I’m saying?
That’s strange, right? God is not I say this a lot, but he’s not a vending machine. He’s not like, okay, I gave my offering. Now, lord. Where’s my money?
Right? It doesn’t work like that. The harvest of righteousness we received comes in God’s timing. It’s going to come, right? I love the illustration of Abraham.
Abraham was promised in Genesis, chapter twelve, that he would be the father of many nations. But at the end of his life, do you know how many children he had according to the promise? One.
Abraham did not see the fruit of his righteousness. He’s never going to see it this side of heaven. You can’t manipulate God into blessing you. What you do is you obey him. You put it into practice and then you trust that God’s timing is perfect.
You trust and you trust and you trust that God will make things grow. We’re like the farmer who plants the seed. We take his word, we do something with it, and then we go to bed. And in God’s timing, we see that God produces some beautiful things in our lives. You don’t have to panic if you’ve been obedient and God hasn’t brought you a spouse, you don’t have to stay up all night long if you’ve been obedient and God hasn’t fixed your financial situation, all you need to do is keep believing, keep trusting, keep working, and at the proper time, God will allow you to reap a harvest if you do not give up. Do your part. Plant till the soil and then go to sleep. Go to sleep and let God do his work. Hidden in the simple truth of the gospel is this idea that God is going to bless us.
I often don’t talk about this because I’m so sick of the easy believism stuff and the prosperity gospel stuff and just give $5 and God will give you $1,000. I think that stuff is ridiculous. And so because of that, I don’t talk about how much God will bless your life. But the truth of the scripture is that God is trying to bless you more than you could possibly imagine. But what you have to realize is that it comes in his timing, not in yours.
By the way, this is a really useful lesson for evangelism. If you’ve been trying to reach people, just know that you can’t persuade someone to become a Christian. That’s not even your job. No matter how clever you are, no one’s going to be like, wow, because you said that, now I’m deciding. Salvation is 99.9% the work of Jesus Christ like and then .1% the response of a human being.
And if we give truth and we pass it off to people, you don’t have to stay up all night because people aren’t responding to you. You can go to bed. And then if they don’t respond, you can wake up the next day and just sow some more and so some more and then go back to bed. And just trust God’s timing. You don’t have to get all ugh about it again.
What’s the passage say? It happens all by itself. Aka, you did nothing. Let me close with one more parable. How do we engage in the Word?
We practice it. Aka we obey it. Secondly, we trust. We trust God’s timing. We trust. We trust. And the last one, and I think this is a powerful thing that I often miss, is that then we expect. Look at this parable. Again he said, what shall we say the kingdom of God is like? I love this because as a communicator, I think of Jesus just kind of going, how do I give them the perfect illustration? You can just tell how much he loves the people he’s speaking to.
What do we owe it to? And then he says, okay, the kingdom of God is like, sorry, what parable should we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth, meaning in their agricultural sense. Yet when planted, it grows to become the largest of all garden plants. With such big branches, the birds can perch in its shade.
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that turns into a mustard tree. Now, mustard seed is really, really, really small. It’s a proverbial. It’s what they use in the Bible to talk about small things, if you have faith, as small as a mustard seed. So when we’re talking about small things, we use the word mustard seed.
It’s the size of a grain of sand or slightly bigger than that. And proportionally, nothing that you plant grows to be as big. Going from that little seed to that large tree, 15ft or so tall. It’s a massive thing that comes out of a single grain of sand. And so what’s the point?
The point is obvious. Small beginnings do not give us any indication of where we are going.
The proportions are stunning and staggering. You plant the seed of God’s word in your life, you just do something small. Maybe you decide, you know, what I’m going to do is I’m going to pray every day. I haven’t done that in a long time. I’m going to pray with my spouse every day.
You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to start reaching out to people. I’m going to try to reach out to one person a day and just say, do you know about Jesus? I’m going to try to invite some more people to church that are in my coworkers sphere. You know what I’m going to do?
I’m going to read my Bible every day and I’m not going to quit. I’m just going to keep going. I’m going to open up to someone about this sin that I know is difficult in my heart. You take one practice of Jesus, right? You join a community group, you take a small step, and that small seed of obedience, that small seed, a small beginning, does not give you any indication of how big God will take that little seed and make it into something that is just overwhelmingly large. You never thought about this, but you made one decision before. You said yes to being invited to church. You said yes to studying the Bible, you said yes to praying for the first time, and God has changed the trajectory of your life.
You have no idea what that little tiny bit of obedience will do in the mind, in the hands of the great, beautiful architect that we praise in heaven. See, every organism in the Kingdom of God is just like this from the Church as a whole. The church began with twelve guys. Twelve guys. And it’s become this multinational, everyone in the world knows about Christianity thing.
No idea how small it was going to be. That’s the small beginning things. It’s at that scale. It’s also at the individual life scale. You make a decision, you die in the waters of conversion, and you’re reborn with something that can influence your family and impact your community and give light to the world.
Everything in the kingdom of God works like that. And so how do you engage with the words of God when you put them into practice and then you trust the timing of God, but you also expect that God is going to do something amazing with your acts of obedience. That’s the quick review. We practice, we trust, we expect. Start putting God’s word into practice, do what it says, love it, hold on to it, share it, don’t let the light go under a bowl.
And then trust the process, trust the process. Trust God’s timing. Trust that he’s going to take your little bit of obedience and do something incredible as you wait with hopeful anticipation that he will give you life and give the world light and give the world joy because of the obedience that you gave Him. Amen. Let’s pray.
Father, we come before you really thankful for these parables and how important they’ve been to me as I’ve personally been studying them. God, I do pray that those of us in this church will not be the multitudes, will not be the haters, Lord, but that we will be your followers, that will be men and women that respond to Your word that whatever we listen to today, this kind of question that was asked, is there anything we’re unwilling to do? I pray that we’re sitting with that question for a little bit longer. That we’re thinking. Okay.
We’re asking some people in our small group that we’re asking some people who help us. Who are mentor us in our discipleship. Who say to us is there anything that you see me in my life that I’m unwilling to do? Lord, and that we can have honest feedback about questions like that. And I also pray that as we read your Bible that will practice what you tell us to do. You say that if we do, that we are like wise builders who build our lives on rock, that when the wind comes and the storms come, that they’ll beat against our house, but they will not fall. Lord, I pray that we can have that type of obedience towards Your word. I pray also that we will trust you. That we’ll realize that being blessed on this side of heaven is not to be compared with the blessings that we receive on the other side, Lord, and we won’t long for a better life here as much as we’ll long for a better life to come, Lord. And then lastly, that we will wait with sort of bated breath for you to do something amazing with the simple acts, inviting someone to church or reading our Bibles or praying God, that will believe that you can do something exceptional with our small sacrifices, God. It’s in that thought that I think about Jesus, who again, just an obscure man from a humanistic perspective, born in a small little slice of Palestine, born to obscure family line and obscure parents and born in a feeding trough.
That anyone could imagine that something so small could become what it is today is just glorious, Lord. That you could grow up as a man, that you could sort of give the fullness of your deity to your son and that your son Jesus would grow up, would heal, would teach, and would die, and that his death would have 120 people who are willing to respond. And to think about the idea that today there are millions and millions and millions and millions of people who know the name of Christ, it’s just incredible. And so today, as we think about the communion, as we think about the bread that represents your body that was broken and the juice that represents your blood, I pray that we’ll also think about how you have taken the insignificance of your birth or even of your death and it into something that penetrates and echoes forever. Lord, we love you, dad, and we praise you. It’s in Jesus name.