JANUARY 19 READING…Matthew 13
Chapter 13 is the parable chapter of Matthew’s Gospel…except for a few in Jesus’ last week on earth this chapter contains all the parables that Matthew recorded. The Gospel of Luke has the most parables of Jesus recorded for us. Here in Matthew 13 the emphasis of the parables is “the Kingdom of God”. A parable is a common earthly illustration that carries with it a heavenly message. Jesus begins with the parable of the sower, where seeds are sown in four different types of ground, and Jesus explains the parable to His followers. The seed is the Word of God, the seed is always the same. The sower is the Spirit of God who plants the seed in people’s lives, the Spirit is always the same. The only variable in this parable is the soil, there are four different types of soil representing the hearts of people who hear the Word of God. The first soil represents those who hear and don’t understand, and Satan comes and steals the seed. The second soil represents someone who hears and receives, but the seed does not take root, and soon perishes. The third soil represents those who hear and receives, but the seed is choked out by too many other things. The fourth soil is the good soil representing one who hears and receives, and the seed is nurtured and grows. Jesus then gives the parable of the wheat and the tares, warning that there will always be unbelievers mixing among believers. He reminds us that we are not to try to remove the tares, for we might inadvertently pull up some wheat. He then gives several parables about how the Kingdom grows, and how valuable the Kingdom is.
The last part of our reading in this chapter has to do with Jesus’ brief ministry in Nazareth, the town He grew up in. He went to the synagogue and taught, but those who knew Him were not willing to receive either His teachings or His mighty works. They only saw Jesus as the son of a carpenter, Mary’s son…one of many sons who grew up in Nazareth. They were not willing to accept Him as anything else. They were offended at the thought of Jesus. Jesus reminded us that a prophet is rarely received by those in their own country and household. The Scripture says that Jesus did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. This is not saying that Jesus’ power is limited by their unbelief…God is not limited by our faith, or lack thereof. We must remember that Jesus is not a carnival sideshow performer…He does not do tricks…He is not trying to amaze the crowd. When He displayed His power it was as a testimony to who He is…and to reveal His Father to the world. God does not waste His revelatory works to put on a show, but to bring we humans to faith.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Matthew 14