Apr. 23, 2020
Matthew 13: 24-43
Scripture reading: Psalm 78:1-4
Background: To understand this parable we must look back at the context of Jesus' teaching in chapter 13 as a whole. His method is parables; He is putting the cookies on the bottom shelf. Our English Bible was translated and assembled with the same goal. John Wycliffe of the 14th century reasoned that Jesus and His apostles taught the people in the language best known to them, as did William Tyndale of the 16th century, who argued that he would see to it that a "plow boy" knew more of the Scriptures that a visiting priest did. The beauty of the gospel is that we can understand it, but we try to complicate it. Our problem is we are trying to infuse our own understanding and intellectual reasoning to form the text to say what we want to hear and not gleaning from it's wealth. This plague hindered the religious leaders of the day. The could not see Christ for who He is for trying to see in Him who they had created within their own imaginations. Here, He is instructing His disciples and the crowd surrounding them to use discernment. He acknowledges that not all who appear to be sheep are sheep. In Matthew 7:15, He warns, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." This follows along the same line of reason. These next three parables, paired with the first of Chapter 13 (the parable of the sower), teach us about the work of the enemy in attempting to thwart the plan of God. There were delivered together, in one teaching. We see this in verse one. Jesus went out of the house, and in verse 36 He went back into the house and explained the parable of the weeds to His disciples.
Read/Pray: Matthew 13:24-43
These three parables deal with the work of the enemy and reveal to us the way in which we should deal with the weeds that may come up against us or even from among us.
1. Jesus is both the sower, the first seed, and the owner of the field.
a. The sower. Verse 37, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man."
b. The first seed. 1 Corinthians 15: 22-23 "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ."
i. You can not have a second fruit without the first. To get corn you must first plant a kernel.
c. The owner. John chapter 1:1-4. "In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made."
d. Romans 11:36 "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."
i. The owner plants good seed in his field.
1. The good seed is the believers. Verse 38, "The good seed is the sons of the kingdom."
a. The gospel witnesses, the ones who bring the good news.
b. They bear good fruit. Galatians 5:20, "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
c. John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another."
d. John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
e. John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
i. These are all identifiers of good seed.
2. The enemy, satan, attempts to ruin the harvest.
a. He sneaks in and plants bad seed.
i. The bad seed are among the good.
1. Matthew 23. Jesus issues "woe" 6 times to the scribes and Pharisees.
a. They shut people out. (vs. 13)
b. Make proselytes, condemning them to hell. (vs. 15)
c. They tithe bit ignore justice, mercy, an unfaithfulness. (vs. 23)
d. Carry themselves as clean but are greedy and self-indulgent. (vs. 25)
e. They appear to be alive but are full of death. (vs. 27)
f. They claim they would not have killed the prophets yet they do. (vs. 29-36)
2. John 8:44. Jesus flat out calls them sons of the devil. "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."
b. Satan plants the weeds, some who rise to high places all to lead others astray.
i. We must be vigilant.
3. The harvest comes and the reapers will gather.
a. The weeds will be bundled to burn.
i. Hell - (vs 41-42) "The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather all causes of sin and all lawbreakers and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
b. The wheat will be put in the barn.
i. Heaven (vs 43), "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
The other two parables expand upon this truth. The mustard seed (vs. 31) is a humble seed (Christ, Isaiah 53). The tree (vs 32,a) is his kingdom here, the boy of Christ (the church, 1 Cor. 12). The birds (vs 32,b) are the evil ones nested among the branches (Matthew 13:4, 19). The leaven (vs 33) teaches us that the Gospel, though it started small and from humble beginnings, it will complete its full effect.
1. Satan is at work.
a. He is a roaring lion seeking something to devour,
b. He is a deceiver, "You will not surely die."
c. He is a thief.
2. The church is not perfect.
a. We await the redemption.
b. We are being sanctified and one day will be glorified.
i. Do not let the mixed Christian assembly prevent you from coming.
3. None of us should take for granted the grace of God.
a. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.
i. They thought that they were good, but as John 8:44 show us, they were not.
b. Don't grow comfortable with your sin.
The good news is Jesus takes a bad seed an transforms it to good. It is the message of the Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. satan, nor any other thing in all of creation cannot thwart His plans. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Is that a reality in your life? I pray it is.