“If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying” (Eyewitness Stories Matthew 13:9).
Eyewitness: pp. 86-88
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 13
In Your Bible: Matthew 13
The Kingdom of Heaven is not merely a location, a body of believers, or a view of what will happen. It is living for the Lord God Almighty with right purpose, right attitude, and right perspective – right now.
Jesus captivated listeners with a treasure trove of parables in Matthew chapter 13. Here, nine times he mentions the Kingdom of Heaven.
He Gathers Them
Jesus tells us that we are not to judge who believes in God. God/His reapers/His angels (depending upon which Bible version you read) will gather those who truly believe to Himself. We see one role the angels/reapers play in these two parables: – the Tares (Eyewitness Stories, Matthew 13: 24-30) and the Fishing Net (Eyewitness Stories, Matthew 13: 47-50).
Our assignment is to spread the Word. Some will accept it and some will reject it. We must keep sowing the gospel message. Do not be discouraged when some refuse to accept the good news.
Salvation is a priceless commodity. A believer must commit everything he has to the Lord and even risk all – salvation is that valuable. These two parables exemplify the value of God’s gift: – the Hidden Treasure (Eyewitness Stories, Matthew 13: 44) and the Costly Pearl (Eyewitness Stories, Matthew 13: 45,46).
Through faith, Jesus initiates a transformation process greater than the believer can understand. Likewise the church triumphant starts small but will become very big. That same concept applies to our own faith. These two parables reveal this: the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13: 31,32 and Leaven (Eyewitness Stories, Matthew 13: 33).
Consider reading Matthew 13:44-46 slowly – out loud. Hearing the parable (not merely reading it) will replay what Jesus’ disciples heard. They said yes, when Jesus asked if they understood what he’s told them these parables concerning Kingdom of Heaven.
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ with such a powerful teaching on Your Kingdom. Help us grasp all He taught.
Questions: What words, that you read today, inspire you to continue to tell people the gospel message? How can you best cultivate a friend’s openness to Jesus?