In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
He who has ears let him hear. He who is not deaf hear this! Everyone has ears. All can hear. Even the physically deaf can be communicated with by one means or another. There is nothing magical about God’s Word. It can be resisted. It is not a magic that when uttered causes miracles to happen regardless of whether people are listening in faith or not. It is simply true. Truth works in people. Truth topples kings, brings down dictators, causes empires to crumble. Truth is powerful. Since God’s Word speaks of the ultimate truths of His Son dying for all mankind it has ultimate power to create faith in dead, unbelieving hearts. But being able to recognize and hear truth is also a gift. Actually listening and paying attention to truth is a gift. The gift of faith.
To Our Lord’s disciples it is given to hear and know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. That is our Lord’s point. All hear. All may see. But only those He chooses to give faith to understand and believe so that salvation may truly by God’s undeserved graciousness to you and not by anything within you.
Even the various circumstances that cause someone to be hearing and producing fruit, or not, are gifts of God. We can not judge by outward appearances whether someone is one of those sort of persons who is rocky, weedy, hard packed, beaten down soil, or good soil. There is a temptation to hoard the Word of God, to not share it, to think, “What’s the point? They won’t believe anyway. I can tell by the hard, crusty exterior they present to the world.” But you do not know. You do not know if the Word planted in the hoodlum on the street will find a hard heart or a receptive heart. Just as you do not know whether the Word spoken to the stay-at-home mother of two, the business man in a suit, or the highschool kid who is too cool for you will find a hard heart or a receptive heart. Repent of judging people as though you were God.
What we know is the power of the Word about Jesus. It is not magical. It will not produce what you want it to produce, when you want it to be produced. No matter how you perfect your techniques, your delivery, your mastery of all doctrine or flattering words, you can not control this power of God. You must simply unleash it. You must scatter it. Scatter it liberally. First and foremost to those God gives to you: your spouse, children, family, friends. And secondarily whenever the Lord creates those opportunities to speak of the hope that lies within you.
You do not know what this Word will do. Will it create faith? Will it bounce off a hard heart? Will it confirm someone in their unbelief? All we know is that the Word of God does not return to Him empty or void. It does something. At the least it will likely show you that the Lord is working on this one, or that that one wants nothing to do with the Lord, giving you guidance as to what you should pray for them.
We are afraid to speak that Word because men are deaf. We know it. But in their deafness they still like to rage against what they don’t want to hear. And we don’t want to suffer their wrath for Our Lord’s sake. Repent.
For Our Lord says that it is not we whom they hate but He Himself. This is what He means when He said, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” His Word brings division. It is the point of division between those who believe and those who do not. And in their unbelief they are deaf to God, dead to Him, enemies of Him.
And the only power that creates something out of nothing in the universe is God’s Word which called all things into being out of nothing. That Word of grace in Christ Jesus is the only power that can create faith in the cold, dead, unbelieving heart.
We often say, “Well, I have spoken to my loved one in the past, but at a certain point you just stop talking to them about the Lord because you don’t want to upset them or cause a ruckus.” And that may be valid, because the Lord says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls before pigs.” But recognize the judgement you have made of your loved one when decide to stop speaking of the Lord to them. You have determined on God’s behalf that they are swine, dogs, unbelievers, deaf to His Word, hostile to God, dead to Him.
Instead, take a note from the gracious sower. He cares not where He sows His seed. He knows the seed sprouts and grows everywhere. He also knows the seed dies and does not last in some. But who knows whether the judgement of your eyes, that this one is weedy soil, that one good, will be accurate or not? For part of the miracle of this powerful, but resistible Word is that it can transform the rockiest soil, the hardest heart. It can penetrate between joint and marrow, soul and spirit. It can cut to the heart, turning sod, and furrowing deep down past the rocks, past the dry ground, past hard crust, to the core of the person where Jesus Christ the Word of God in the Flesh can plant the gift of faith which trusts in Him.
So keep sowing. Sow that reckless seed. Cast it abroad. Do not prejudge the case for you know not what the Lord will do when His Word goes forth. For men are deaf, but this Word gives ears that hear and hearts that believe.
In +Jesus name, Amen.