The Table Connection – Week 12


What Hartley Teaches Me About Jesus

By Shannon Laning

Matthew 13 (NASB)


I’m not the only one. I can’t be. I can’t be the only parent in the world who cannot stand the question, “Why?” It was cute at first, as it is with all new things that kids do, but there comes a point in time that this adorable new habit irritates like nails on a chalkboard. At times Hartley really wants to know something, but for the most part, asking why became that standard follow up to anything I said. However, I have found that if I actually try to explain things in new ways, ways that she understands, she tones down on the question asking.

In the midst of my sometimes-frustration over the constant barrage of “whys,” I have become convicted that I am the exact same way (and actually way worse) to God. I just simply don’t get it often. That is why it takes a long time for me to learn a lesson that I am sure God has been trying to teach me for quite some time. Once again, I know that I am not alone here. God is such a gracious God and doesn’t give up on trying to explain things to me in new and different ways so that I might actually get it.

As I read through Matthew 13, I see it in a new light. God is using the setting of farming to explain and re-explain what His kingdom is like. As you recall, Matthew has been all about what the kingdom of God is and is not. It is multifaceted, unique and beautiful. It is filled with all different types of people. Some people will have lived faithfully, loving and serving, and others will have not. Some have lived apathetically and some abundantly.

Jesus stresses over and over the importance of seeking to be more like Him every day. And He also stresses that it is very important to not worry about what everyone else around you is doing and how they are acting. But I want to ask you, what do you think Jesus is trying to teach you through this passage? How does the passage of Matthew 13 make you want to be more like Jesus?

I am so thankful that we have a God who does not mind our constant question-asking. He is able and willing to explain and re-explain things over and over so that we have a chance to actually get the point and make a change. Hopefully, I can be a little more like Jesus every day and treat my precious daughter’s question asking as an opportunity to be a little more like Jesus was in Matthew 13, coming up with creative and memorable ways to teach and explain.


Matthew 13

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