Matthew 13 (v1-32)

  • Jesus is always ready to serve (v1-2)
    • That day? After His mother and brothers came for Him?
    • Why was Jesus sitting by the sea? Praying? Taking a break? Personal time?
  • Parable of the sower (v3-9)(v18-23)
    • Beside the road (v4, v19)
      • ate up by birds
      • the enemy snatches away (prince of this world)
      • When we share about Jesus, not everyone will understand it. We can’t force or convince others and unless the Holy Spirit is at work in them and their freewill is involved, the enemy will find a way to snatch it away by diverting their attention to something else that’s enticing to the flesh.
    • Rocky places
      • Little soil, seed germinates but scorching Sun and no depth will ca use it to wither away
      • When a person ignores their personal responsibility (freewill) of seeking the LORD and drawing near to Him (studying the Word, prayer, submitting to the Holy Spirit), they will fall away because of problems that directly come about because of their faith in Jesus (example: being mocked by family/friends, worrying about losing opportunities etc)
    • Amongst the thorns
      • Thorns choked the good seed out
      • When someone hears the Word, instead of focusing on it, they’re worried about what’s happening all around (may even be in relation to the Word/God) and the “deceitfulness” of riches/wealth – the notion that if we have more money, we could do more good or we would have more time to serve God and not be worried. Many Christians fall into this trap.
    • Good soil
      • Each seed grows like it should, yield isn’t the same
      • This is the person who receives the Word, understands it because they’re taught by the Holy Spirit and bears fruit because they’re willing to be led by the Holy Spirit to do what God wants him/her to do.
    • Why parables? (v10-17)
      • Not everyone’s been granted to know at the time – there’s a time when God reveals the truth, through the Holy Spirit
      • Those granted to know (by God) will receive more from the LORD
      • Those who’re not granted, what they have will also be taken away (God sees the heart of the people)
      • Isaiah 6:8-10
        • Man’s freewill and God’s will not in harmony
      • Many prophets prophesied about Christ and many righteous people were waiting for Him but not everyone got to see or hear Him. Do we consider ourselves blessed because we get to see and hear (Holy Spirit bringing Jesus alive through the Bible)?
  • Tares among wheat (v24-30)
    • Sower (God) sowed good seeds
    • His men (servants of God) were sleeping (not the same as disciples sleeping while Jesus was praying)
    • Enemy sowed tares (a weed resembling wheat) amongst the wheat
    • Only until the wheat sprouted grain where the servants able to see the tares (Matthew 7:16 – “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?)
    • Some people in your life or in the church can have the appearance of a Christian but they are planted by the enemy or don’t belong to Jesus and are there to drain your time/energy/resources but will yield nothing in the end. You can keep thinking they are wheat all you like but a weed is a weed and it can’t/won’t transform into a tare.
    • Forcibly removing the weeds may have impact on the wheat that’s yielding return, in the same way, doing so to someone (be it in your life or in church) may also have a negative impact (though the person themselves may not be yielding anything) so leave it in God’s hands but be aware that they are weeds without getting caught up in that fact. Can you think of any weeds in your life that appears to be wheat?
    • In the end, the LORD will deal with the weeds.
  • Mustard Seed (v31-32)
    • Small seed grows into something big – when God plants a seed of faith in us and we allow Him to work in us, our faith will grow.
    • Others will find refuge in us, just like the birds will nest in the branches of the mustard tree
    • Remain humble, for just as the mustard tree cannot grow on its own, neither can Christians grow in their faith and be strong without utterly depending on the LORD

Matthew 13 (v33-58)

  • Leaven (v33)
    • Like leaven (example: yeast) mixed in dough to make it ferment and rise, so is the Kingdom of heaven/Jesus/the Good News able to change all who receive it.
    • Unlike leaven of Pharisees (Matthew 16, Luke 12), that is, their teaching full of hypocrisy
  • Speaking in parables (v34-35)
    • Psalm 78:2
    • The Holy Spirit reveals the truth about Jesus, we just have to preach God’s Word faithfully.
  • The Tares (v36-43, see also v24-30)
    • Son of Man (Jesus) sows the good seed (those who have faith in Jesus) in the field (the world)
    • Devil (the enemy) sows tares (those who reject Christ)
    • Reapers (angels) gathers up tares (all who reject Christ – those who cause others to stumble and break the law, whether it is God’s law or the laws of the land) and throw them into the fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, that is, eternal torment!
    • Daniel 12:3: Righteous will spend eternity with God!
  • Treasure (v44) and Pearl (v45)
    • Jesus is the greatest treasure and worth everything else in our possession.
  • The Net (v47-50)
    • Just as fisherman sort their catch on the shore, keeping the good fish and throwing the bad way, so God will gather the righteous to Him and cast out the wicked into the furnace of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, that is, eternal torment!
  • Do you understand? (v51-52)
    • “brings out of his treasure things new and old” – A true disciple of Jesus understands the Old Testament as well as the New Testament – both are important to grasp the full counsel of God as it is revealed to us in the Bible, through the Holy Sprit.
  • Nazareth (v53-58)
    • It is impossible to understand the supernatural (Jesus’s wisdom and powers) with the natural mind (v55-56) so people take offense (v56)
    • Jesus said that those called by God will not be honoured (even rejected) by those familiar with them, including family.
    • Jesus did not do miracles not because He was unwilling or unable, He was responding to their unbelief. To them, Jesus is just an ordinary man who they’re all too familiar with.
    • We too will face this increasingly, from family, friends and even Christians who will ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit but will try to understand/comprehend/explain away things with their natural minds and fall short as a result, then get upset at us and even take offense (How dare you?)

 

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