Jesus was the only person who was faithful to die alone
Jesus made it clear that keeping the Sabbath had nothing to do with refraining from eating food or avoiding helping those in need on that day, vs 1-5, 9-13!
Instead, it had to do with showing mercy to others in their time of need, and not merely making sacrifices as per one’s own desires, which left one feeling that they were better than others and thus made them end up in condemning innocent people vs 7!
On account of this deceptive understanding that the Pharisees were bound by, they failed to recognise who Jesus was vs 6,8, and thus they ended up plotting against Him in order to assassinate Him, vs 14!
When Jesus learnt of this, he departed from there, but kept healing people, yet telling them sternly not to make these great works known, vs 15,16. He did this in order to fulfill prophecy, vs 17, which revealed that a true servant of God would not serve to make himself or herself known, but rather be one whom the Father loved, chose, delighted in and poured out His Spirit upon, so that He would be committed to giving justice, encouragement, hope and healing to those who needed it, instead of simply exposing their sin, pain and hurt and condemning them for the same, vs 18-21! When Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, they accused Jesus of casting out demons by the ruler of demons, because they were unhappy to see the crowds amazed at Jesus’ miraculous works, and therefore begin considering as to whether He was indeed the Messiah.
Then Jesus explained that:
Satan can’t cast out Satan!
Their evil words revealed their evil hearts!
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven!
Satan had to be bound and cast out before the victim he oppressed could be set free!
Repentance and faith was needed for complete deliverance, so that the Holy Spirit could fill the empty space that was present when the demon left, such that they could not revisit the victim with seven other spirits more evil than itself!
Casting out demons by the spirit of God implied that the Kingdom of God was in operation!
One has to give an account for every idle word spoken, for it is by our words we will be justified, and by our words we will be condemned vs 22-37, 43-45!
When they asked for another sign as proof of His identity, He called them an evil and adulteress generation who would be given one ultimate sign concerning His death and His being in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, vs 38-40, just like Jonah was in the belly of the fish! And in comparison to Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba, they would surely be judged and condemned for not recognising the Son of God who dwelt in their midst, vs 41,42! Even His mother and brothers doubted Him at this time when he faced so much of opposition from men, and so, He revealed that flesh and blood relationships did not make one His mother or brother, but rather those who were spiritually connected to Him because they chose to do the will of the Father in heaven, vs 46-50!
The reason for the Pharisees’ blindness was primarily because they were not honest when confronted about their sin! This is the root cause of being blind to spiritual realities, for God hides these truths from the wise and intelligent and reveals it to babes who are humble and honest about their sin!
The worst part is that this dishonesty, not only blinds us to spiritual realities, but also leads us to condemning many innocent people to our own hurt!
Let him who has an ear, hear and determine to avoid such pitfalls!
God is still expecting His Kingdom to grow through us in this Lockdown… Matthew 13:31-32
🌱Just because we are in a Lockdown and Churches have been shut down for nearly a year now, God’s is still working, the Kingdom of God is still expanding and flourishing in the midst all the chaos and confusion, because God is on His throne. The church is abounding in vibrancy and we will be amazed at what God is doing. I can go into any service anywhere in the world and worship God in my lockdown space. I can attend five services on a Sunday in five different time zones and worship with my family and friends around the globe. People who don’t attend church are now having a peek to find out what is going on in the faith community.
🌱God reveals truths that have been hidden from the foundations of the world in parables. Only a select number of Jesus’ parables have been recorded for us, and Matthew organizes many of them here in Matthew 13, so that, we can better appreciate the special teaching from Jesus’ parables. Jesus gave many insights into the Kingdom of Heaven and let us ponder upon God’s work by looking at the parable of the Mustard Seed, a parable that will give us instruction and encouragement in this lockdown season.
🌱The Parable of the Mustard Seed is so short and small just like the mustard seed itself, with just two verses, Matthew 13:31&32. But, it is so powerful to teach about what God is going to do through Christ Jesus post resurrection through His church on earth. The mustard seed is the toughest of all seeds and the smallest of all seeds. Unless the mustard seed is added to very hot oil it won’t burst. This tiny seed becomes a huge tree and there is no plant that has a growth ratio compared to the seed size like the mustard seed. It has a large output for the seed size.
🌱So it doesn’t matter how small your contribution to the Kingdom of God is, God can multiply your efforts into a phenomenal growth. We are all His mustard seeds that are planted in different places in this lockdown, and we are accountable to God. We are not some waste that is taking up space. We are all called by God Himself, who will be faithful to us and He will do what He has to do through us. All we need to do is to allow Him to bury us in the ground He has chosen for us. Without death no life, without being buried no growth. The seed has to die. Jesus is the grain of wheat that had to die, John 12:24-25, to produce many seeds.
🌱Child of God, Remember this, Jesus was the only person who was faithful to die alone and none of his disciples who heard the message through the parables were with him. Later, there were only 120 disciples in the upper room, Acts 1:15. And the church exploded in Acts 2:41and Acts 4:4, and we are still here and growing. What God has started He will bring to completion until Jesus returns, Philippians 1:6. So we don’t have to panic and get in the way of what God is doing and get the arm of the flesh to the work for us.
🌱The power of the seed is amazing. Its roots can break the foundation of the concrete buildings. The mustard seed is designed to reach its full size and full potential so is the Kingdom of God through the church. Every seed has a hidden code inside its DNA. Every seed takes after its kind, Genesis 1:11. Every seed has its growth pattern. We need to wait to see its full development.
The same is true for the church and us. Jesus gives us special insight into God’s amazing plan for the church. God has designed the church to grow to its full design, size and shape. It is God who makes it grow and He has given us that assurance. All we need to do is trust when He buries us into the kingdom soil in this lockdown… Amen🙏
anniekoshy@God’s Thirstydeer🦌 Breaking the Chain with You⛓️
PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
(Matthew Chapter 13)
A Parable is simply an earthly story having a heavenly meaning.
📌 Matthew 13 contains 8 Parables , and out of it 7 focuses on the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven . It begins with,” the Kingdom of Heaven is like ..”. . The first 4 Parables ( v 3-33 ) were addressed to the crowds and the last 4 Parables ( v44-52 ) to the disciples.
📌 The word HEAR /HEARING comes over 15 times in Matthew 13 , which suggests that hearing His word is an important activity on our part.
1️⃣ THE BEGINNING OF THE KINGDOM ( 13:3-9 , 18-23 )
📖 The Parable of the Sower did not begin with “the Kingdom of Heaven is like..” but it describes how the Kingdom of Heaven grows.
📌 It begins with the farmer ( Jesus ) who went to sow seeds ( God’s Word ) in the field ( amongst the people ), and it falls on four different types of soil ( human hearts ). The varied growth/results of the plants shows how a person receives His word. The seeds falls on :
~ Road Side – Birds ( devil ) takes it away
~ Rocky Place- Troubles subsides the word
~ Thorny Place- Worldly materialism hinders the word
~ Good Soil- A good heart bring forth fruits.
2️⃣ OPPOSITION TO THE KINGDOM (13:24-30, 37-43 )
📖 The Parable of the Weeds . Satan opposes the Kingdom by trying to snatch the word from the people’s heart. If it fails then he ( false teachers ) comes and sow weeds ( false teaching).
📌 But at the end the wheat and the weeds will be separated.
3️⃣ GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM ( 13: 31-33 )
📖 The Parable of the Mustard Seed ( v 31-32 ) The concept here is a small seed brings out a big tree.
📌 Church of Christ begins with a small beginning and grows up by the Holy Spirit.
📖 The Parable of the Yeast ( v 33 )
In Bible yeast symbolises evil or unclean . However here it is a symbol of growth and influence of the church.
4️⃣ THE OUTCOME OF THE KINGDOM ( 13:44-50 )
📖 The Parable of the Hidden Treasure( v 44 )
To me it is a difficult portion to interpret because Christ or His gospel can not be a hidden treasure. It must be exposed. However, I understand this way – a treasure is valuable and to obtain it , one must sell out all his stuffs ( denying self )
📖 The Parable of the Pearl ( v 45-46 ) . Pearl has its great value. Pearl represents the church of Christ. A wise man will forsake everything to obtain / be a part of it .
📖 The Parable of the Net( v 47-50 ) . Preaching the gospel is like throwing a net into the sea ( world ) where different kinds of fishes ( people ) are caught .
📌 At the end ( judgement day ) the net will be dragged to the shore and the good ( believers ) will be separated from the bad ( wicked ).
5️⃣ DEFENDER OF THE KINGDOM ( 13:52 )
📖 The Parable of the Householder.
Those who understands the truth (God’s Word ) will certainly appreciate both the new treasures ( revelation in Christ ) and the old treasures ( revelation through Moses’ Law ).
💞 Beloved Church, understanding involves responsibility and we need to :
✅ Search the Truth
✅ Live by the Truth
✅ Dispense the Truth
May the master of the Parables teach us and guide us in our meditation and help us to be a part of His KINGDOM.
Glory to God 🙏
✍🏽 Mark Boje, ArP 🇮🇳