Now let us enjoy his explanation:
We do this, or not, all the time. Our words about Jesus are not limited to some kind of wordiness about Jesus and Church called evangelism. Our devotion to Jesus affects every aspect of our existence. The devotion of others to the Olympian gods affects every aspect of theirs. If we talk with others at all, they will notice this. The differences they notice will be the words we plant as seeds in their minds and hearts.
We do this with everyone we talk to. In our intensely Olympian society and culture, virtually everyone we talk with is primarily Olympian. This includes virtually everyone we talk with at any church we go to.
Jesus does this with us too. Only because he daily renews the miracle of his presence with us, and only because the Holy Spirit daily renews the miracle of our commitment to him, do we have any word of truth at all to share with anyone.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
Every person, including you and me, has two personalities: one Olympian and one Christian. For virtually everyone in our intensely Olympian society and culture, the Olympian personality is stronger. For some, it is so strong that they understand themselves, others, and all reality in Olympian terms quickly and completely. Their Olympian personality thoroughly dominates their Christian one. If even a crumb or seed is tossed their way by us, their Olympian personality quickly and easily snatches it and tosses it away. And their Olympian personality, if it notices itself doing this at all, imagines itself doing so for the noblest of reasons and suffers no noticeable distress from its Christian personality (and conscience).
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for awhile; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
We all have two personalities: an Olympian and a Christian one. These personalities vary in their relative strength. While the Olympian one almost always dominates, the Christian one sometimes shows surprising energy.
When we share a word of truth with someone like this, that word gives vitality to their Christian personality. But the Olympian gods look unfavorably upon this. They have weapons they use to discourage such unseemly displays of enthusiasm. If our Christian personality starts gaining in strength, the gods will call on stronger Olympians close to us to threaten us with insecurity, misery, loss of importance (at least in their eyes), guilt, and meaninglessness. These others will do this by ridiculing or scolding us and, if necessary, by shunning or hurting us. That’s usually enough to adequately weaken our Christian personality and return us to Olympian conformity.
And others are those sown among thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.
Some people have a fairly robust Christian personality. It will not weaken when challenged by a little ridicule or scolding. Tougher measures are needed. The Olympian gods are good at applying these as well. Through our Olympian relatives, friends, bosses, and colleagues, they will promise us greater security, happiness, importance, justification, and meaningfulness. All they will ask for in return is, from their point of view, a more prudent witness to Jesus. Let’s not be fanatical! Eventually our peers will herald us as wonderful people and inspiring humanitarians. Our Olympian personality will believe them while our Christian personality remains fruitless.
And these are the ones sown on good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:14-20).
Let us now praise Jesus! Somehow, each day, he manages to speak to us the words of truth that free us from the threats and promises of the Olympian gods. He frees us from the Olympian gods even though they are well represented by our daily companions and even our own Olympian personality. He strengthens our Christian personality and enables us to better strengthen it in others. By doing so, he also strengthens the Christian character of the groups in which we participate. He even graciously brings other Christians into our lives. How pleasant!
As participants in prophetic mission groups, we want to go in pairs and participate in the churches to which Jesus calls us. Our goal is to strengthen the witness of Christians and churches to the presence of Jesus in their midst.
Most likely they will reject us. Our responsibility is not to convert them or convince them but simply to plant seeds of truth. But there will always be those for whom the truth of Jesus will indeed come as great good news. We share that news with everyone and rejoice when its seeds fall on fertile ground.
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