“If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying” (Eyewitness Matthew 13:9).
Eyewitness: pp. 86-88
In Your Bible: Matthew 13:24-52
The Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew Chapter 13 is a treasure trove of parables. There are at least 7 after the Parable of the Sower/Seed/Soil. In this chapter, Jesus mentions the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God 9 times. Yes, Jesus got the crowd’s attention. What is the Kingdom like? Listen to Jesus’ words and receive what he said.
Jesus taught as much as the crowds could understand. He wanted his followers to know what the Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God entailed. It’s not merely a location, a body of believers, or a view of what will happen. It is Kingdom living for the Lord God Almighty. It is right living, right purpose, right attitude, and right perspective……on what God wants.
More Parables in Matthew 13
1. Jesus tells us that we are not to judge who believes in God…..His angels will separate out those who truly believe. Two parables – the Tares vv 24-30 and the Fishing Net vv 47-50.
* C O N C E P T * Spread the Word, cast the seed, some will accept it and some will reject it. We must keep sowing the gospel message. Do not be discouraged in this assignment when some refuse to accept the good news. God will sort out who really believes at the end time.
2. Salvation through God’s gift of Jesus Christ is a priceless commodity, bringing great joy and peace. Two parables – the Hidden treasure v 44 and the Costly pearl vv 45,46.
* C O N C E P T * A believer must commit everything he has to the Lord and even risk all ………….salvation is that valuable.
3. Salvation through Jesus initiates a transformation process greater than the believer can even begin to understand. Two parables – the Mustard seed vv 31,32 and Leaven v 33.
* C O N C E P T * The church triumphant, starts small but will become very big. That same concept of transformation and growth applies to our own faith.
Now, consider picking a parable from Matthew 13 to read out loud – slowly. Hearing the message in this manner will give the added impact Jesus intended and reveal the way He wants us to hear it.
At the end of this chapter, Jesus asked his disciples and those close to him, “Are you starting to get a handle on this” (The Message Matthew 13:51)? They actually responded “Yes” to his question. So should we!
Application:: Parables are earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. These insights and concepts are mine alone. Some parables are difficult to grasp and others straight forward. But Jesus’ words remain clear: Let us have “ears to hear” and take it fully to heart.
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ with such a powerful teaching on Your Kingdom. Help us grasp all He taught.