MATTHEW 13: JESUS TEACHES IN PARABLES FROM NATURE
Come on, press the red button! Obey God's word today.
Preparing to read Matthew 13
Get ready, Jesus teaches in parables that confounded the wise and learned but transformed the lives of the curious and obedient. Jesus stood in a boat and people crowded around the shore and he told farming and fishing stories to farmers and fishermen.
Embedded in each parable is an imperative that we seek to understand and not blow off these parables. Why? Because Jesus explains that our hearts are at stake. Will we be obedient, curious enough to ask, like the disciples did, "What do these parables mean?" Or, will we act like the people in Jesus' hometown who heard his teaching, were amazed but then asked another set of questions: "Isn't this the hometown boy who has brothers and sisters here? Isn't this the carpenter's son?" And they took offense at him, and Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
The parables are serious and detailed. And the disobedient in the parables are doomed to destruction at a time of judgment to come. The obedient must learn the ways of life in the kingdom of heaven that Jesus repeats over and over. Are we listening?
Some teachers will say that you can't ply a parable too hard for all the details, but Jesus is very explicit in detailing what each element in the parable means. Twice Jesus explains to his closer group of disciples the parables he's told the crowds. So pay special attention to these explanations as you read this chapter.
Lord of Creation, teach us what these parables mean. We are amazed by the thought that Jesus is fulfilling what the prophet said, "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."
Humble yourself before the Lord today. Bow, show God you are not smarter than He is. Do something to put faith and trust and curiosity in the Lord who knows infinitely more than you and I do. Pray that you will be given the wisdom, understanding, courage, strength to obey.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.