“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:16-17 NKJV
Every day I pray that our eyes can see, our ears can hear and our understanding will be opened. And we are blessed that we can ready and understand the word of God!! But I am counted among the many who read a wonder how amazing it would have been to be among the disciples! To actually hear these words come out of the mouth of Jesus and to see him myself and hug him!
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 13 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Parable of the Sower
13 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The Purpose of Parables
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the [a]mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I [b]should heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
The Parable of the Leaven
33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three [c]measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Prophecy and the Parables
34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
The Parable of the Tares Explained
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Dragnet
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
51 [d]Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?”
They said to Him, “Yes, [e]Lord.”
52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every [f]scribe instructed [g]concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, [h]Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
- a.Matthew 13:11 secret or hidden truths
- b.Matthew 13:15 NU, M would
- c.Matthew 13:33 Gr. sata, same as a Heb. seah; approximately 2 pecks in all
- d.Matthew 13:51 NU omits Jesus said to them
- e.Matthew 13:51 NU omits Lord
- f.Matthew 13:52 A scholar of the Old Testament
- g.Matthew 13:52 Or for
- h.Matthew 13:55 NU Joseph
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Numbers 23:19- “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
I just got myself distracted and went down a rabbit hole of “Seeing Jesus”. Maybe it is because I am still sick (believing in faith I am healed), but man, He could come right now! I know I have a list of people I am praying for, but I’d love to fly up and be with Him! To live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil 1:21)
Ok – back to the work of the harvest. Jesus begins his ministry of parables. His disciples come to him and say: Dude, this isn’t working. We aren’t getting converts and no one knows what you are trying to say.
Jesus came for His chosen people, the Jews. But at this point they had rejected Him. So the teachings no longer belong to them.
Preachers often see something like this start to happen in their messages when the congregation has hardened its heart. The stand up to preach thinking it is exciting and spirit filled and it is moving – but the audience sits there deaf. And the preacher often thinks they need to change their style. No. Stay obedient to God. It is not the job of the preacher to MAKE them listen and learn. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. This is why, every day I ask God to speak to you and God to open your ears and eyes and understanding.
Sometimes God asks me to share some very strange spiritual images and idea or even a brief phrase – and I think they are so clear. And I watch their faces as they miss it. Sometimes it moves into the spirit and only if you can see in the spirit (walk in the spirit) can you understand because there are no human words for so much of that. And it is God’s job to reveal it.
So it is YOUR job to prepare your heart to receive and to actually receive what God is saying to you. AND it is YOUR job to then take the seed you received, grow it into fruit, harvest the seed and go plant it – just toss it out there. If it is the wrong person, wrong time… not your business. If it is the right person and right time and they receive it… Still NOT your business!! That is between them and God. Stay in your lane. You grow seeds and distribute them! When other follow, teach them to grow seeds and distribute them.
What about when the bad seed gets mixed in? That is not your business. You have your orders – stay in your lane. God will expose good wheat from Tares. You just keep growing seed and flinging it out there.
You see – we all were given seed. We all sit here for this lesson and receive a seed.
“He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Matt 13:11-12
But if you do not take it, receive it, hear it, see it, understand it… then you don’t leave with it. And then you will be like the one with lack. But if you are hungry and you ask to receive and learn how to receive, you meditate on it, you take it as food, and oxygen, as essential for life… then you plant this seed inside you and it multiplies into more seeds and you can sow and it will grow into more seeds and so on to abundance!
You see the kingdom of heaven is like: abundance and multiplication. This applies to spiritual, physical, health, wealth, all areas where you receive it and do not limit God. Like the tiniest seed growing into a huge tree to care for many. Or like a dusting of leaven, raising ALL the meal!!!
Remember when reading parables that they are often life 3 part sermon. Sometime more than 3 sometimes less. But you cannot separate them from each other and get hung up on details – when you put all three together it make a point. Ironically, Rabbis’ have taught in moral story telling with three stories to make one point for years and years… And this was not a new style created by Jesus. He used their own methods of teaching and learning, and their ears were stopped up. And notice – even the disciples had to ask for understanding. Be wise enough to ask God to give you the meanings! He gave the meaning to the disciples and He will give them to you and I as well.
The next three parables also go together the hidden treasure in the field, the great pearl and the dragnet – which continue with the original theme. The kingdom of heaven is like abundant multiplication! At least up until a very sobering reminder at the end of the dragnet. The reminder that if you do not seek understanding, you may find yourself without the abundance and cast into the fire.
“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt 13:49-50
Today’s reading concludes with Jesus being rejected in Nazareth. After reading the Old Testament, I would think Jewish people would understand that is someone is supernaturally wise and does mighty works AND IS REJECTED then they are the Lord’s anointed prophet. Jesus is MORE than a prophet, but is in the same pattern as Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc…
“When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” Matt 13:54
Lord, please grant us wisdom and mighty works as we seek you in 2022. Our family and friends may not accept this supernatural transformation of us – but we accept and receive the transformation. Make all things new in us. And give us the wisdom on how you want us to grow and multiple. We receive the Kingdom of heaven! In the Name of Jesus – Amen
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!