Matthew 13:10-17 Why the stories Jesus?

Jesus' Stories Teach Us

Jesus’ Stories Teach Us

Jesus has just spent the day teaching the people using stories/parables. His last remark to them was, “He who has ears, let him hear” (verse 9). I wonder what the people thought of that statement. “Of course we have ears; they’re on the sides of our heads, just like Yours!” But Jesus wasn’t talking about physical ears. He was talking about spiritual ears. The Pharisees probably thought they had both kinds of ears, but they were wrong.

The disciples came and asked Jesus about His teaching method. They were curious as to why He had ONLY taught in parables this day. He had used stories on previous occasions, but today He used parables exclusively. Why was that? They knew Jesus had some hidden meaning in His stories. Wouldn’t it have been easier on the people listening if He would have explained it to them afterward? The disciples were probably wondering at a lot of the meanings too, but they didn’t come right out and ask Him, yet. Read more »

Matthew 13:1-9 Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and the Seed: The Crowd

(In advance, I’m going to warn you that today’s story is a bit long. After all, we have a whole day on the beach to look at with Jesus.)

Playing and listening

Playing and listening

Yesterday we looked at Jesus’ story of the sower and the seed from the perspective of the farmer. We went through the planting and growing season with him to get a closer look at the man and his crop. Today we are going to look at the crowd Jesus was teaching this parable to. Who was in the crowd? What were they doing as Jesus taught them? Why were they each there? What happened after they heard the story?

We find Jesus on the seashore. He has just left a home where He was teaching a group there. One of the last topics He had addressed there was who His true family was. He said it was those who did His Father’s will. We don’t know how long Jesus was relatively alone on the seashore but we are told that a large crowd came to Him there. It was so big that He got in a boat and set out on the water a little ways in order to be able to address them all. I’m assuming that the area He was in was a harbor with natural rock formations on either side. This would make a great amphitheater and His voice would be able to be heard clearly by all those in attendance.   Read more »

Matthew 13:1-9 Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and the Seed: The Farmer’s Story

To get a harvest you have to plant a lot of seed

To get a harvest you have to plant a lot of seed

Jesus leaves the crowd at the house where He talked about who His true family was. Matthew tells us He went and sat by the sea. He wasn’t there very long before another BIG crowd gathered around Him. This crowd was so large that He got in a boat and put out to sea a bit to address them all. I wonder who was all in the crowd. Did some of them follow Him from the house? Were there Pharisees in this crowd too? What brought each of these people to come to Him?

While Jesus was teaching them He used parables. The parable Matthew tells us about Jesus using is about a farmer and his seed. This was a story that most of these people could relate to. Many of them were farmers themselves or a family member of a farmer. They could easily picture what Jesus was talking about. Today we are going to look at the story in and of itself. Tomorrow I want to take a look at the crowd who was present for Jesus’ telling of the story. Read more »

Matthew 12:46-50 Who is Jesus’ Family

One Big Family

One Big Family

We are continuing with Jesus as He is still with the crowd. As near as I can tell, this is the same crowd where the Pharisees called the Holy Spirit Beezlebul and where the man who was demon oppressed was healed. I’m making this assumption because Matthew hasn’t moved us on from that crowd yet. Matthew has changed the setting a little in today’s lesson by putting Jesus inside a house or structure. He didn’t put Him there in the beginning though, and that is why I’m not CERTAIN this is the same crowd. Honestly though, for our story it doesn’t make a lot of difference today. So let’s just jump in with whoever Jesus is with now.

While Jesus is talking about the boomerang demon issue, He is approached by someone. The man approaching Him is trying to get Jesus’ attention to let Him know that His family is waiting outside to talk to Him. In Mark 3:21 we are told that Jesus’ family thought He was nuts for saying that He was the Son of God, the Messiah. They were trying to shut Him up and drag Him away quietly so He would quit embarrassing the family. That was their mission when they arrived. What ever happened to, “Mary treasured these things in her heart?” Joseph is apparently not around to straighten things out. How did Mary, who was SO strong in the beginning, get to this point? What filled her with doubt? Read more »

Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus’ Warning About Boomerang Demons

Clean & In order, but for who?

Clean & In order but for who?

Jesus is still talking with the group where the man oppressed by a demon was healed. He had been rendered blind and mute by the demon, but after Jesus cast the demon out the man was fully healed. I believe this is who Jesus is addressing specifically today. In the end of verse 45 Jesus says that He is giving this same warning to all of the people with Him. I want to deal with the boomerang, or returning, demon first.

Jesus starts off by talking about where the demon goes once it is cast out of a person. Jesus says, “it passes through waterless places seeking rest” (verse 43). The demon has to search for another host. It is apparently not a pleasant task. They get tired and thirsty during their search. No wonder the demons asked to enter the herd of pigs when Jesus cast them out of the man in Matt. 8:28-34. Demons need a host to be able to rest. They are thirsty for men’s soul. Are they powerless without a being to inhabit?

So the demon in Jesus’ warning has found no one else to inhabit while it has been wandering and searching. It figures; why not check out the place it used to stay. This demon is in luck! The house/soul is still empty. In fact, everything is clean and tidy again. Read more »