Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Matthew 13 Sermon Notes- Kingdom Parables

Matthew 13:1-58
Kingdom Parables
Sermon Notes
You can Listen Here:
November 6, 2016

         The Kingdom Parables are stories that tell a story. There is a progression in these parables. I want you to listen for it as I read.
         Today, I want to take fly over of the landscape. We will revisit the text next week with a closer approach. The closer approach makes sense especially for some fine points and for application. But the fly over really is the main point of the text.

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.  2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.  3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
Why didn’t Jesus just speak plainly? He did to those who have ears to hear.

1.   The Spreading of the Gospel of the Kingdgom
2.   Various hearers and believers in the Kingdom
Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Even among the faithful, the fruit is not equal.

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
This does not seem fair to us in our egalitarian age. We want to take from the one who has and give to him who does not. But Jesus turns this around. He is making a particular point about belief and faithfulness that should not be generalized in either direction towards economics. But the principle does apply in many cases. The have nots keep have notting. The haves keep having.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
The tension in the kingdom. Hard hearts and soft hearts. Which will you be?

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Jesus speaks of better things for His disciples. But remember that even among the closest of the disciples, there was one who betrayed Him.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Jesus speaks riddles to unbelievers but speaks the plain truth to His disciples. Among the hearers of Jesus are those immediately controlled by Satan, those who try to make their way out but can’t seem to get very far when trouble hits, those who seem to make a serious commitment that lasts for a long time until the world and riches and power turns their heads, and then those who believe and stay connected to the root and bear fruit.

Wheat and Tares

Matt. 13:24   Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
3. The Impurity of the Kingdom= The Kingdom will one day be perfectly purified but that is at the end of time when Jesus sorts everyone out. Until then, we must be content with not knowing the condition of hearts.

31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
4. The Growth and Expanse of the Kingdom
It starts out small, like a grain of mustard seed but it grows into a great tree. It starts out small like a little leaven, a little yeast, but it grows until it fills the whole loaf. The Kingdom grows. The Kingdom starts out small, just a few faithful who really know that Jesus is the King. Then it spreads to 120 and then to 3000 and then to 5000 and then a great multitude, then from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and the uttermost ends of the Earth. Eventually, the who earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The Kingdom does not just plop down from Heaven. Even the New Jerusalem which came down from Heaven is a paradigmatic city, one that eventually fills the whole earth.

34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:  35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 
They were secret things but Jesus is revealing them.

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus preaches hell fire, wailing and gnashing of teeth. His message is not simply one of nice thoughts and platitudes. Jesus came to divide men between believers and unbelievers. The unbelievers will suffer for their unbelief. That suffering is real. Fire, wailing, torment, beastly behavior. Be not unbelieving then.

Matt. 13:44   Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
5. The Value of the Kingdom- Jesus teaches His disciples that the Kingdom is of great value. It is so valuable that you should trade everything you own to get it. If you found that your some land for sale had a gold mine on it, or maybe huge deposits of oil shale, you would go and sell and mortgage everything you could to scrape up enough money to buy that field. The value is much greater than any of your own worth so you greatly increase by your investment.
Or further, if you find that one pearl of great price, a pearl big and beautiful and perfect beyond any you had ever seen. You would trade all that you had to buy that pearl.
The Kingdom is like that. It is of the greatest value. Value is easy to see in a gold mine. It is easy to see in a beautiful gem. The Kingdom is a little harder to discern. Where is its value? Why is it valuable? What benefits do I receive?
It’s main value is in its King, King Jesus. When you come into His Kingdom, you have a High King, who is also Priest. He is the center of the Kingdom and to be His subject is worth expatriating from all other countries to His. The benefits of this Kingdom are manifold, including being related to Jesus, being connected to His brothers and sisters, eternal life, a blessed life in this age and in the age to come an even greater blessing without sin and death.
Further benefits include: The presence of the Holy Spirit to grant us peace that passes understanding. In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. So, in Jesus, in His Kingdom, you can be of great joy even as the world is passing away.
These are just a few of the benefits of the Kingdom but there are many more both in this life and the life to come.

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
6. The Expansive Impure Kingdom- This parable is similar to the wheat and the tares but seems to expand that parable. The great drag net catches fish of every kind. This speaks of the expansiveness of the gospel. It will go out on the waters and gather up people from every tribe and tongue and nation. Not every one who is gathered will be true believers. But we do not have to worry about that or sort them all out. God will do so at the end of the age. Until then, we gather.

50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Again, Jesus preaches hell fire and torment. We do not have to worry about the impurity of the church because God will sort it out. But for those who presume upon God and still lead wicked lives, there is a day of reckoning.
The righteous should respond to Jesus because we love Him and desire to serve and please Him. That is a noble motive. But there is another reasonable motive. The wicked should fear judgment and turn from their wickedness in repentance to the grace offered in Jesus. This motive is not just about the benefits in Christ’s Kingdom or of God’s love towards all people. We strongly exhort unbelievers and the wicked to turn from the wrath to come. God’s wrath will be poured out. For those of us who are walking the grace of God, we can understand this. His grace is so good and so free, to reject it is to deny the God who made you and to trample under the blood of Christ. God would be no good God to leave this business unfinished.

51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. 52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
7. New and Old Things in the Kingdom- God’s Kingdom is old and new. The Scriptures of old still apply. God’s promises to His people from the beginning are coming true. But something new is here. The Son has appeared. The Kingdom of Heaven is ruled by Jesus. The Holy Spirit will soon appear in a new and powerful way. The Kingdom of Heaven has come to Earth. It will expand until it fills the whole Earth. It will encompass Jew and Gentile and every Kingdom on Earth.
We talk about continuity in the Old Covenant to New and Discontinuity. Things Old that are the same and things New that are different.

Matt. 13:53   And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. 

54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?  57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
8. The Barrier to the Kingdom- Unbelief
Jesus seems too normal. His hometown folks have a hard time believing Him. He did not do many mighty works in His hometown because of their unbelief.
Keep in mind that this entire section keeps up the rift with the Pharisees, with the chief priests and scribes. They resist Jesus and His teaching. Jesus then talks about wheat and tares, good fish and bad and punishment at the end of the age. But it is not simply the religious rulers that resist Him. Some of His own family resist Him. Some of the neighbors He new as a boy resist Him. Unbelief raises its ugly head among those closest to Jesus.
This tension of unbelief in the family is a very real theme. We see this sort of thing in the epistles. The writers write to believers exhorting them to believe. This sort of tense language is the language of the Bible.
So, we have it here, a church full of believers, from adults to children. But when the sorting time comes, which pile will you be in, the wheat or the tares? The good fish or the bad? And what characteristic separates you?
It is this one, the only requirement for entry into this Kingdom, belief. Believe in Jesus, His work on the cross for your sin, His resurrection to life for your life.

And once you believe, then act like it. Walk according to God’s Spirit doing the will of the Father. Live a life of faithfulness, which includes the conviction of sin, repentance from dead works and walking in new life and righteousness.

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