Matthew 13:44-46 Parables of the Value of God’s Kingdom

What is it worth to you?

What is it worth to you?

Jesus is sitting with His disciples in a home. He just finished explaining a parable He had used with the crowd a little while ago. His disciples asked for an explanation and He willingly gave it to them. But He didn’t stop there. He told them a few more parables to better emphasize His point. We are going to look at two of them today. Both have to do with how precious God’s word is. I want to paint a picture of each of them, and then address a couple of questions they both raise in me.

Our first story starts with a man digging in a field. Jesus doesn’t specify what the treasure was or why the man was digging there in the first place. I’m going to take a real life story I know and adapt it a little to fit our scenario. Read more »

Matthew 13:36-43 Jesus Explains the Parable of the Two Seeds

Spoiler Alert! Jesus WINS

Spoiler Alert! Jesus WINS

Jesus has left the crowd He was teaching. He and His disciples have retreated into the house. I wonder how hard it is for Jesus to leave the crowds. Just thinking about it reminds me of someone being mobbed by reporters. There is always one more question. One more person who wants a minute more of the interviewee’s time. I don’t know how He did it. I know Jesus has patients with all of us now but what was it like then? I know He had patients then too, but was there ever an end to “one more question” or “one more healing?” No wonder He sent the disciples out to minister too. Otherwise He would have been constantly exhausted. Yes, He was God, but He was also human and had to live within those limitations.

Sorry, got sidetracked. Back to today’s point. Once inside the house, His disciples had “one more question.” You were so patient Jesus. You didn’t even let out a frustrated remark (or not one that Matthew recorded anyway) when asked to explain the parable. I wonder why Jesus’ disciples didn’t ask for all the other parables to be explained too. That would have come in handy yesterday. Again, I digress. Read more »

Matthew 13:31-35 From such a little thing comes BIG results

Small start, BIG finish

Small start, BIG finish

We are going to start a little backwards today. We are going to skip to the last two verses of our reading, then go back and address the two parables on growth Jesus talks about today. Jesus is continuing to teach the people in parables. We are not told where Jesus is teaching currently or what kind of crowd His is addressing; just that He is using parables to do so. He is addressing them with parables for a very specific reason. Jesus told His disciples why earlier in this chapter; in verses 10-17. We addressed Jesus’ remarks in an earlier lesson too. Jesus spoke to the people in parables so they would have to dig in and find the meaning that was hidden from them. The casual listener would miss the whole point of His message.

Matthew reminds us today in versed 34-35 that Jesus was teaching this way as part of prophecy. Jesus had to fulfill ALL the prophecies of the Old Testament. This was a requirement for the Messiah, and was how Israel was to recognize her Messiah when He came. Sad thing is though, Jesus fulfilled each and every single one of them and they still didn’t believe Him. As a nation, they are still waiting today.

Now we are going to back up to the beginning and look at the parable of the mustard seed. Next we will look at the parable of the leaven. Read more »

Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus’ Parable of the Two Seeds

picture of what on left and tares on right

Could You Tell the Difference in these Immature Plants?

Jesus was addressing the people with parables again. Matthew doesn’t make it clear here where Jesus is and whom He is currently addressing. I think this could have been one of the parables He shared on the seashore when He spoke about the sower and the seed. Reading further into this chapter we see Jesus explain this parable to His disciples, so we know that this telling is before a crowd at this point.

We have another farmer’s story today. This farmer only had to deal with one kind of soil. It was prepared beforehand to receive the “good seed” he intended to plant there. He ran into problems, however, concerning the crop that sprang up on his land. Apparently his “good seed” wasn’t the only seed that got spread on his field that season. Read more »

Matthew 13:18-23 Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and the Seed: The Explanation

Soil for the Seed

Soil for the Seed

Jesus has just told His disciples that they are privileged to get to understand the stories/parables He has been using in His teachings. THEN He proceeds to explain the stories. I bet there were a few very relieved disciples in that bunch. Imagine being Jesus’ closest bunch and not having a clue as to what He was really talking about. Sure, they could understand the stories in and of themselves because He painted such vivid and common pictures when He spoke. But the disciples KNEW there was more to the story than what was on the surface. What was Jesus’ hidden meaning?

We are going to take the explanation Jesus gave His disciples today and match it up with the attendees on the seashore. See if we can find some examples to fit Jesus’ descriptions. Mark 4:13-20 records this same parable. Mark’s narrative makes it a little clearer what the sower and the seed are than Matthew’s retelling does. We also know, from many years of being taught this story and by logical conclusion, that the place the “seed” is being sown is in men’s hearts. The heart condition then is represented by the different kinds of soil. (I had to say that, just in case someone new to this story happened by today.) Read more »