Matthew 13 is the beginning of Jesus' parables. The majority of these parables help us understand the nature of God's Kingdom as well as the exclusivity of God's Kingdom. At the end of these parables, we should be left with a sense of gratitude that we have been included as well as a sense of responsibility to see as many others included as possible.
- A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
- A parable is a true-to-life story that teaches truth about eternal life.
- A parable usually teaches one main point. The details are important to the degree they pertain to the main idea.
- Jesus used parables to obscure the truth from those who had rejected Him.
- Just as God “gave them up” in Romans 1, Jesus has allowed those who rejected truth to experience the consequences of that decision.
- Many of Jesus’ parables were warnings about the religious leaders, thus the people could be warned without the religious leaders understanding.
- The see is the word of the Kingdom. God spreads the Gospel everywhere to everyone, but not always with the same effect.
- Equal opportunity does not always lead to equal outcomes.
- The footpath represents those who intellectually cannot accept the Gospel. With the help of the evil one, they “reason” their way away from Jesus.
- Satan’s greatest deception is to cast intellectual doubt into the minds of those who would believe. “Has God really said…?”
- The rocky soil prevents deep roots. Without roots, one cannot stand in the midst of suffering.
- Those who say, “I cannot worship a God who allows this…”, have never truly understood who God truly is. They have not put down roots.
- The thorns represent the distractions in our world which choke out the spiritual life of people.
- The cares of the world could also be worded, “Caring too much about the world.”
- The deceitfulness of riches takes many astray. Following Jesus is fun until it is costly.
- The parable of the weeds reveals there are people who look like Christians, talk like Christians, hang out with Christians, and may even think they are Christians; but who will be revealed to be lost at the final judgment.
- Warning for pastors: In your fervor to defend the Gospel (by destroying weeds), be careful that you do not destroy the good plants who are among them!
- Jesus will sort everything at the end. For now, just be faithful.
- The Kingdom of Heaven will expand and will impact all of life.
- The parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leaven make it clear that God’s Kingdom is NOT to be segregated from the rest of life. It shoul
d impact all of life.
- Jesus’ explanation of the Kingdom’s scope was new. It had been hidden until then.
- The mystery Jesus revealed in these parables is the mystery Paul revealed in His letters (Colossians 1; Ephesians 3).
- The Kingdom of Heaven is more valuable than anything we could ever find or own.
- The Kingdom of Heaven is worth losing everything.
- The Kingdom of Heaven is the most important pursuit in life.
- The great sorting of humanity will not happen until the end.
- Humanity WILL be sorted at the end.
- In these parables, Jesus refers to the final judgment as fire/burning three separate times.
- The judgement awaiting those who are sorted includes separation, pain, and regret.
- Those who truly understand the Kingdom are able to synthesize the truth they have always known with the truth they are continuing to learn.
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