Matthew 13:18-23 “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and anon with joy receives it; yet has he not root in himself, but endures foe awhile: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
It is possible to hear the word of the kingdom and to understand it not. Actually, that is very common. Jesus just told them that the reason he spoke in parables, was so that people would not understand what was spoken about the kingdom of God.
Proverbs 1:6 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”
With both parables and proverbs, there is an interpretation to each of them. The words of the wise are dark sayings to those who do not understand. Jesus said that when a person does not understand the word of the kingdom, that is when the devil can steal it out of their heart. These are they sown by the wayside.
The seed sown into stony places are like some people I once met in the Philippines. I preached the gospel to a young man named Nef. He confessed Jesus as Lord and a big change came into his life. He was on fire. His vices fell away. All he wanted to talk about was Jesus. He began witnessing to his brothers and sisters, and to people at work. Shortly thereafter Nef went home for Christmas vacation. I remember he asked me for prayer as he wanted to share the gospel to his dad and mom. I was excited to see him return to Cebu City. I saw him from a distance, very sad, and now smoking again. He told me how excited he had been to become a Christian. He witnessed to his Catholic parents. They told him that if he changed religions they would disown him. So he rejected Jesus so that he would not lose his family. For as long as I knew him, he remained closed.
Another man that I had led to Jesus was all excited to learn more about being a Christian. Then a few weeks later, his wife was robbed. She had a snack food route and collected money from each stop. The thieves knew her route and waited until she had the most money. They were devastated. Why is it when people accept Jesus that things like this happen? It was satan coming to steal the word that was sown in their hearts.
The seed sown among thorns is the most dangerous. These are people that receive the word and never let go of it. There is a problem, they receive the word among cares, riches, and pleasure. In Mark’s gospel it says, the lust of other things.” In Luke it says, “the pleasures of this life.” So there is a mixture of two different things: the good seed and the thorns.
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two master’s: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
It is so easy to get caught up in the cares of this life. From little worries to world events, there is so much to think about, and fear and worry will grip you if you do.
It is so easy to get caught up in the deceitfulness of riches. Our society worships higher education. Why? It produces money and position in society. People work long hours to get more money. More, more, more.
And pleasures. We are a society that worships and lives for pleasure. TV, movies, internet, video games, sports, pets, hobbies, fine dining, vacations, resorts, theme parks, and on, and on, and on the list goes.
All of these things, and many others, choke out the word, and it brings no fruit to perfection. They only produce imperfect fruit because they are lukewarm, or a mixture of two different things.
The good ground understands the word, so it cannot be stolen, nor will they be offended by it. They cut off the cares, the riches, and the pleasures. They are interested in God’s word day and night. They are the true Christians who produce the fruit of a Christian.
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 13:24-30 “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man who sowed good seed into his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you sow good seed in the field? From whence then has it tares? He said unto them, an enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together till the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say unto the reapers, gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Matthew 13:37-43 “He answered and said unto them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of the kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Notice that here in the world there is a contest going on. Jesus is sowing good seed, which are the children of the kingdom. And the devil is sowing tares, which are children of the wicked one. They both grow side by side until harvest time, which is the end of the world. The angels are the reapers. They will gather the children of the kingdom into heaven, but the children of the devil will go to hell.
I can see how Jesus sows the children of the kingdom. It shocked me when I saw that the devil sowed the children of the wicked one. I just never imagined that the devil actually SOWED his own children. Notice that none of the tares turned into wheat. So Jesus is speaking of people either being of God or the devil from birth.
Remember that Judas, even when he was Jesus’ disciple, Jesus said, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70).
So we have two spiritual fathers, God and the devil. We have the children of God, and the children of the devil. The angels shall gather out of his kingdom all that offend and them which do iniquity. They shall cast them into the furnace of fire. ALL who offend and who do iniquity shall GO TO HELL!
The grace gospel that says that people can live in sin and still go to heaven is a lie. The so called “church age” is a lie too. Jesus spoke of those living at the end of the world, and every single one of them who offends or who does iniquity shall be cast into hell. Then shall the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The righteous are they who do not offend, nor do iniquity. You don’t believe this? That only proves that you don’t have ears to hear. Jesus said, “He who has ears let him hear.”
Matthew 13:31-32 “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: which is indeed the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”
Matthew 13:33 “Another parable spake he unto them, the kingdom is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
These two parables speak of the same thing. When God’s word enters our heart it is less than everything else in our heart. But it begins to grow. When it is fully grown, it becomes the greatest thing in our heart. It governs our life. The word produces after itself. That is how a life is converted. The word grows and produces fruit, which are words of obedience. The word of God will either reign supreme in a person’s life, or it will be taken from that person in the end.
Matthew 13:12 “For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has.”
Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the kingdom of God is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides it, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
Today, they say that salvation is free. No, it is not. In both of these parables the man had to SELL all that he had to be able to BUY it. Salvation costs all that you have and everything that you are. I met a lady once who said that she wanted heaven on earth and heaven in heaven too. You can’t have them both.
Listen to what Abraham said to the rich man in hell, “But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and you are tormented.” (Luke 16:25).
Jesus said to ALL his disciples, Luke 12:32-34 “Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Matthew 13:47-50 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to the shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
This parable is self-explanatory. When Jesus returns, all the evil people shall be cast into eternal fire. For now, the righteous and the evil live together here on the earth. The day is fast approaching when Jesus will return to judge the world.
Matthew 13:51-52 “Jesus said unto them, Have you understood all of these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe that is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
I like this very much, I always have. Jesus speaks of a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven. Notice that he did not say the law and the prophets. He is speaking of the kingdom of heaven, which began to be preached when John the Baptist was cast into prison.
The scribe takes out of his treasure things new and old. What is his treasure? The word of the kingdom. Why things new and old? Some things he just learned and some things he learned a long time ago. We never stop learning. There is a lifelong process of enlightenment. I LOVE it when my eyes are opened to something new in the word. It brings excitement, a thrill, and deep satisfaction. What I look forward to is an eternity of continually learning new things about God. Ever getting to know him better. He is so vast and perfect, that never during all eternity will we ever stop learning more things about him.
Revelation 4:8-11 “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day or night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever; the four and twenty elders fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that lives for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.”
I used to think, How boring! To spend eternity like this? Then I saw something. They all got a fresh, new revelation about God and immediately said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty! Then they got another fresh revelation about God and they immediately said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty! They wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! They are in rapture. “In thy presence there is fullness of joy, and at thy right hand there are pleasures ever more. And for that matter, we are in little, everything that God is in big, our sins excepted. God is omnipresent. So are we in heaven!
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him like he is.”
How else would we be able to know and fellowship with all of our brothers and sisters? To be in God’s presence? to work for God? To enjoy our mansion? And all other things? My Bible tells me that I am like God. I am a god. (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34-35). I am in little everything God is in big, my sins excepted. Heaven will be a wonderful place.!
Matthew 17:25-27 “He said, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What do you think Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter said unto him, of strangers. Jesus said unto him, then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go to the sea, and cast in a hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and you.”
I’ll be honest. I’m still in the dark about how this story applies to us today, so I won’t attempt to explain what I myself don’t understand. (Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did this? Instead of trying to explain what they themselves don’t understand?).
I do however value these verses for the following reasons. This is one of the very few times that we see Jesus one on one, alone with a single disciple. I like the interaction between Peter and Jesus. Peter enters into the house with something weighing on his mind. Jesus immediately knows this and stops Peter with a question, “What do you think Simon?”
Did you ever stop to consider that Jesus is interested in what we think? Also, that Jesus is concerned with our problems? He is if you are his disciple. This makes me feel happy and loved. Jesus cares about what I think and about my problems.
Jesus then proceeds to to meet the need both mentally, by offering God’s viewpoint of what troubled Peter; and physically, by providing the money to pay the temple tax. Also, I’m impressed by the fact that Jesus can perform ANY miracle necessary in order to provide the needs of his disciples.
I also like to see how a devoted disciple like Peter behaves, when given the seemingly most outlandish commands, “Go to the sea, cast in a hook, and the first fish that you take up, will have a coin in it’s mouth. Take this and pay the temple tax for you and me.”
Do you notice that Peter never questions it? Peter obeys. On many occasions I have obeyed what I believed the Lord has told me to do. My mind has told me it’s crazy, how can it work? Yet, when I obeyed the Lord, each and every time, he has proven himself to me, by providing for me, when I obeyed him. In this manner, I have seen many, many miracles; and I have seen my faith grow to where I will take action to do what the Lord commands, without taking into consideration the fact, that I do not have the money or resources to do what he has commanded me to do. I simply begin the project with what I DO have, and trust him to provide what I will need, when I need it. It always works out too.
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