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 »

Matthew 12:38-42 Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

Seriously!?! How blind can you be?

Seriously!?! How blind can you be?

We are still with the same crowd as during the last couple of days in our study. It consists of Jesus, MANY people wanting healing (including a man who was blind and mute as a result of demonic oppression), Jesus’ disciples, a group of scheming Pharisees and some scribes. Jesus had left the temple a while ago because of the Pharisees’ accusations and their plotting behavior. Of course, even the Pharisees followed Him. A couple of days ago in our study we saw how the Pharisees made THE greatest mistake possible. They said that Jesus’ work was being accomplished by Beelzebul, the Prince of Demons. Jesus met that remark with righteous indignation. After a short pause, the Pharisees are ready to try again.

Jesus continued to address the Pharisees while He is also talking to the crowd. The crowd was so awed by the healing miracle, that they were finally wondering if Jesus was more than just a prophet or teacher, but promised The Messiah instead. Jesus told the group to look at His works and to judge for themselves, because good works can’t come from a bad source. Read more »

Matthew 12:33-37 The Mouth Speaks What Fills the Heart

Out of the Heart, the Mouth speaks

Out of the Heart, the Mouth speaks

Jesus is still with the crowd where we left Him with yesterday. The Pharisees have moved to back just a bit in the crowd, but have not left. They are busy nursing their wounds and grumbling among themselves. Jesus addresses the crowd but looks in the direction of the Pharisee group while speaking. His message specifically includes them but not them exclusively.

Jesus has talked about a tree and its fruit before. The people recognize His reference to a good tree bearing good fruit and a bad tree bearing bad fruit. But today He goes even deeper with His illustration and meaning. He essentially gets to the “heart” of the matter.

Jesus first calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers. Their mouths are full of venom. They are poison. They are to be avoided by all but the most skilled snake handlers because of the inherent danger they pose. The skilled snake handler’s responsibility is to milk the snake of its poison so as to create anti-venom to treat those bitten by the snake. Jesus was an EXPERT snake handler. He was inoculating His disciples and those listening against the poison the Pharisees were spreading. With some, the effects of their “inoculation” would take some time to manifest. Read more »