Do You Get It?

In Matthew 13, we begin with Jesus teaching in parables, about the Kingdom of God.  First to the crowds, and then to His disciples.   

In vv.3-9, Jesus is saying, that each one of us, upon hearing the gospel, is somewhere in this parable.  

3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” 

Later on that day, Jesus explained that parable to His disciples.  This parable applies to every person that has ever heard the gospel.  Can you find yourself here?    

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (This is one reason why we are not to appoint leaders without them first being tested) 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” 

This is what’s happening every time we share the gospel with someone, every time you hear the gospel.  It’s either immediately being snatched away by Satan, it’s being sown into a heart that is not well prepared, or it’s received into a heart that is well prepared. 

Explaining what the good soil looks like, what the receptive heart looks like, Jesus tells the disciples two more parables.  

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it

Do you see the exchange happening in the hearts of these people in these examples?  Jesus is using these parables to say that there is nothing in this world of more value than our being right with God, than our being one with God, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  

What does that look like?  This man, and this merchant, sold everything to get what they wanted most of all.  What is it that you want most of all.  What is it that you are willing to give up everything for?  

After this, Jesus brings it all to it’s conclusion.  He tells us where it all ends up for the two groups.  Those who find and receive the Kingdom of heaven, and those who do not.  

Jesus said, 

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Notice there are only two groups—evil and righteous.  There is only one way for any of us to be counted among the righteous, and that is by receiving Jesus Christ as our God and Master, by trusting in Him, and in in the sacrifice He made for us on the cross.  

Finally, Jesus asked His disciples,

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.”

Do you understand?  If not, let’s talk.

~ by James M. Winslow on 2021/04/12.

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