Matthew 13:1-52, Psalm 136
Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is guest blogger Jon R.
Pastors frequently use stories and illustrations in their sermons to enable us to visualize an important point from the passage being taught. Illustrations and stories enable us to attach mental pictures to situations and help us to make biblical truth applicable to our everyday lives. During His earthly ministry, Jesus taught using parables, or earthly examples to convey spiritual truth.
In Matthew 13:10, the disciples ask Jesus why He taught in parables, and His response separates those who accept Jesus’ teaching and those who do not. In verses 11-16, Jesus explains to them that those who accept His teaching will understand the parables, and those who reject it will not. For the believer, parables illustrate and provide a memorable explanation of biblical truth, but for those who reject the truth, it leaves them confused.
Jesus goes on to say that His parables fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah which told of people who would reject His message. After each parable, Jesus would follow-up with an explanation so that the disciple could understand fully.
In these parables Jesus focuses on a few key points: reception of the Word of God, and the nature of God’s Kingdom. His parable of the sower illustrates quite well the varying responses of people’s hearts when they encounter God’s word. Then He focuses on the nature of the Kingdom of God and how believers and nonbelievers will be separated in the Day of Judgment. Verses 44-46 are personally convicting, as Jesus illustrates that those who value the Kingdom correctly are willing to give up everything to obtain it.
Let us value His Kingdom and His Righteousness above all things because as Psalm 136 says twenty-six times “for His steadfast love endures forever.” When we see all that He has done for us and realize that we are perfectly loved for all eternity, His infinity value becomes clear and transforms our hearts and lives.