Canaan Years - Blinded Eyes

I mentioned in my last week's post that I felt like I was speaking a different language than my classmates. (and I don't mean French)

I'll never forget the day, in my sophomore year, that this was clearly brought to light.

As we returned from gym class, we passed a table in the lobby of the high school where someone was handing out Gideon New Testaments.

In the next class, our English teacher, Mr. Hayward, (who, I later learned, was Quaker) asked us to open to page ??, which was Mark, chapter four - the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. He read verses 1-9. The way these New Testaments were printed, only part of the chapter was on that page, so you would have to turn the page to continue.

At this point, Mr. Hayward shocked all of us by asking me and my friend, Mary, not to say anything. (I was not used to having attention put on me, like this. I wondered how much he knew about me...since it was early in year, and I didn't think he knew me very well, yet.) He explained to the rest of the class that this was called a parable, a story with another meaning - something like Aesop's fables. He asked them what they thought it meant.

(Now, I should also explain that our classes were divided into college prep, business, and vocational groups. This was the top group, the ones with 4.0 GPA. Most of them were smarter me, since I had to work hard to keep a B average.)

When Mr. Hayward asked them to interpret the parable, they were completely stumped. They knew it wasn't about farming, and they decided that the different soils might mean different types of people or cultures, but they had no idea what the seed could be...even knowing they were reading a Bible. They just didn't know. I couldn't believe that they didn't have any idea, not even any guesses!

The teacher told them to turn the page and proceeded to read verses 15-20, where Jesus explains the parable.

"The sower soweth the word.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. "

Again, Mr. Hayward told Mary and me not to speak. (The others looked at us in puzzlement.) He said, "Now that you've read the explanation, tell me what it means in your own words. What is the soil? What is the seed?"

They didn't know.

He turned to me. "Yvonne, will you tell them?" So, I explained that the seed was the words of the Bible, and the ground was the different types of people that hear it. Some don't accept it at all, others do, but don't really understand, and then there are those that accept God's word and flourish and grow and spread the seeds to others. (I remember it was hard to use words that I thought they would understand...not the terms I had learned in Sunday School and church.)

I looked around and saw that they didn't understand a word I said. I looked at the teacher, and he gave me a knowing smile. He knew this would happen. I know God used that teacher to show the condition of those who didn't know the Lord. Their eyes and minds had been blinded.

John 12:40 "He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."

We understand God through His Son. We can't understand spiritual things unless the Spirit teaches it to us. It is foolishness to the ungodly man. It has no meaning.

Hebrews 1:1-2 says,
"God...has spoken unto us by his Son."
John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Since then, I have often thought of that day. I have seen intelligent people declare the Bible to be ridiculous, and I have also seen those seeking God understand His Word when no man has taught it to them.

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