Read Matthew 13:24-53
Theme: life of Jesus
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24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
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.
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.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there,
Thoughts to consider
We looked at the reason for parables yesterday and here Jesus tells quite a few more. They are all about ‘the kingdom of heaven’ what do you think that is?
To me ‘the kingdom of heaven’ is the part of heaven which touches earth, which would be; healing, deliverance, freedom, preaching of God’s word etc. (all the things that Jesus did when He came to earth) Does that sound familiar? I believe that the church is to demonstrate the kingdom of God, we are God’s representatives. Have you ever thought about that?
- What is your opinion of the church? Is it largely irrelevant or the hope for the whole earth?
- I believe it is the latter and the Apostle Paul (amongst many others!) agrees with me. In Ephesians 3 v 10 it says “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places”
- If you are an active part of a church, you are helping to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth, in my opinion more important than any other thing including the ruling of state and government etc. Think about how you can give yourself more to your local church. Don’t diminish the role you play, however small, you are about a very great work!
- Going back to our specific parables today. We have 6 and although they say a lot, I’m going to summarise them into 3 main thoughts for you to consider;
1. Parables 1 and 6 talk about a final ‘sorting out’. Within your church there will be some who are not building the kingdom (even working against it), they will probably be quite complacent and will not be removed now but will be cast away at the final judgement. Lesson = don’t be complacent
2. Parables 2 & 3 talk about small beginnings but the kingdom growing. Lesson = Good things done in secret (leaven + mustard seed) will grow and have a huge influence, don’t despise the little you do if it is all you can do, God will make it grow!
3. Parables 4 & 5 are about discovering the kingdom and prizing it above all else. Lesson = don’t settle for anything less, go for the kingdom with everything you have!
Father I thank you that you have given me the awesome responsibility of working with You to build Your kingdom here on earth. Help me to give myself to it with all the strength you give me. Help me not to judge others who I think may be weeds in your kingdom, that is for You to sort out. I will keep working with no distractions. I ask all this in Jesus name, amen