The Word This Week

Matthew 13:1…

Matthew 13 is known of as ‘the kingdom chapter’ in God’s Word.

This is because over and over again Jesus presents parables which portray the nature of the kingdom of heaven in ways which illustrate and yet do not fully explain heaven to the casual listener.

There is an intentional distance set between the illustration and the explanation in each case. This gap between the illustration and the explanation, (which is only offered to His disciples,) is meant to take the measure of the listener.

As a listener, you can hear and not fully understand the meaning of what Jesus is explaining unless you choose to think beyond the surface illustration Jesus provides. For those who are satisfied by the surface illustration, there is no more to be had. But for those who will continue to wonder and meditate upon the pictures Jesus presents, there is great understanding to be had.

One of the great understandings which can be derived from the parables is that there are only two kingdoms, and those kingdoms are at war. Another truth which can be understood is you cannot be part of both kingdoms. You are either in the kingdom of heaven or you are in the kingdom of Satan.

Just as Jesus explained in Chapter 12, you are either with Jesus or you are against Jesus. You are either gathering with Jesus or you are scattering.

Chapter 13 takes this explanation further, revealing the warfare Satan brings against the kingdom of heaven in ways which people fail to see or acknowledge. Jesus makes anyone who desires to know aware of the conflict.

Employing agricultural, real estate, and fishing illustrations, Jesus provides a majestic picture of all that is going on in the spiritual realm.

In the midst of the teaching Jesus presents, He provides explanation to His own disciples of the first two of the parables - which Matthew informs us of - to help us understand there ARE deeper meanings to be had. This reminds us to gain this deeper level understanding of the full meaning Jesus intends, we must first desire to know, and secondly, to ask Jesus. He wants His disciples to know, and it becomes part of how His disciples are identified.

Pastor Bill