Monday, June 11, 2007



Matthew 13:1-17

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear."

10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Here in Matthew 13 we have just passed the miracle section of chapters 8-12. The Jewish leadership has clearly rejected the Jesus movement of the day and the disciples had to be quite discouraged. Things weren't going their way to move into power with Jesus as the King and to expel the Roman oppressors. So, the logical question in the minds of the disciples is: "Jesus, what's the Kingdom going to look like now?"

Jesus answers this question with a series of 8 parables that describe the present nature of the Kingdom. He used parables to reveal Kingdom truth to those who were leaning in and to conceal the Kingdom truth from those who were dead-set against it.

Since the disciples had eyes to see and ears to hear, Jesus gave them the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven. The secrets of the Kingdom make up the message Jesus came to present to the world.

NOTE Jesus says that those who have the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom will be given more and will have an abundance. For those who do not have the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom, what they have will be taken away.

It all boils down to problems with the eyes and the ears. Check out what Jesus says next: 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Jesus says that many prophets and righteous people longed to see the Kingdom that He came to bring to the world. Now that the Kingdom is here, it's vital to HAVE EYES TO SEE AND EARS TO HEAR. Be sure to frequently check out your eyes and ears so that you can see and hear what God has brought to you. By the way, having eyes to see and ears to hear is just another way of saying IT'S A MATTER OF THE HEART. So, how well are YOUR eyes seeing and YOUR ears hearing? Check your heart!