Reading Deeply (Part 1)

Tim Brown

READ : Matthew 13:1-9

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. (v. 1)

The practice of reading the Bible should be a slow and deeply attentive exercise. Those who read the Bible best, in our storied Christian past, called this lectio divina or spiritual reading. It was a careful “fourfold reading” of the Bible, with each reading paying attention to a different concern.

The first reading was called lectio, a kind of gathering up all the treasures found in a passage of Scripture. The second reading was called meditatio, a focused meditation on a particular treasure discovered in the first reading. The third reading was called oratio, or praying the passage. The final reading was called contemplatio, and it called for a deep contemplation on the implications of the passage. The contemplative reading of the passage is the place where “the rubber meets the road”!

If we read Matthew 13 in just this way, and pay special attention to the way people are drawn to Jesus at the beginning and repelled by him at the end, each of us is left with a painful and pressing question: Which is my response to Jesus? Am I for him and his kingdom purposes or am I against him and those same purposes? So much hangs in the balance!


Father, grant us the grace and courage to gather around Jesus, and never to be offended by him. Amen!