Sunday, April 06, 2008

Matthew 13:47-52


47 ``Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 ``So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There were 3 basic methods of fishing in the time of Jesus.

1. A line and a hook was used to catch one fish at a time.

2. A one-man casting net, used in shallow waters to look for a school of fish.

3. A huge dragnet stretched out over as much as a half square mile. Good fish were taken in and packed up and the bad fish were thrown away. This is the word used here.

NOTE the basic teaching here is that there will be definite judgment for everyone. No one will escape it. This reminds me of Who will do all of the judging--Jesus. Jesus is the only One Who counts. He's the only One Who can judge, YET He is the One is spreading all the love around. Check out Romans 8:31-39:

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9-11

Every knee will bow someday, better bow your knee today or you'll be forced to bow later! Jesus always leads with His love and not with condemnation, but some day even the author of Love, Jesus, will have had enough!

16 ``For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 ``For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 ``He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Matthew 13:44-46


This is one of the most fascinating observations about how people actually receive the message of the kingdom. He offers two ways:

44 ``The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 ``Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

BY SURPRISE Here is a person, not particularly looking for it, yet finds it hidden in a field. He is overjoyed with his discovery. He hides it again. Then sells all that he has to buy the land where it is!

BY SEARCHING Here is a merchant who has been searching for fine pearls. He finds a fine pearl of great value. Then goes, sells all that he has to buy this valuable pearl!

Do you know people who are like these two? The one who by surprise discovers the kingdom treasures. The one who never would have imagined being 'caught dead' sitting among a group of believers. This person, along with many onlookers, are quite surprised that this person found it.

OR the one who by searching out truth or the meaning of life or whatever finds himself delighted to have found a satisfaction that no one can take away.

NOTE both have the same response. They each sell all they have and buy their new-found treasure! Now this has nothing to do with purchasing or performing well enough to gain a place in the kingdom. However, it has everything to do the comparable value of being with the King in the Kingdom rather than rocking along, living a life that is routine and predictable with all of the traditional comforts of life, without the King and outside the realm of His Kingdom.

So, how do you value your relationship with the King and His Kingdom? Is it the most valuable, priceless, place to be, ever? Or, is it a convenient place to visit from time to time? This is the difference between being a spectator and a participator!

Matthew 13:36-43


Matthew interrupts the series of parables by inserting what Jesus said concerning the wheat and the tares (false wheat).

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, ``Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.'' 37 And He said, ``The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 ``So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 ``The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 ``Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

NOTE that it is Jesus-the Son of Man-Who is the Sower of the good seed and the devil is the sower of the seed that is called the tares-false wheat. Jesus is the sower. So, how does He do this through us? 1. Jesus works in us through Incarnation. (Seeing Jesus in you!) You are to take on being like Jesus in everything you do!

2. Jesus works through us through the process of Infiltration. (Seeing Jesus with you!) You're a part of God's movement-kingdom on earth!

3. Jesus works in and through us through a universal Invitation. (Seeing Jesus in others!) Can I help you in any way?

THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY. #1-Jesus is calling you today! a) You who are interested-Believe in Me!-whosoever will!

b) You who are believers-Follow Me!

c) You who are followers-Make Disciples of Me!

#2-Jesus believes those He calls are good enough-you can do it!

#3-Jesus believes you can be like Him-to perpetuate His yoke!

#4-Jesus empowers you by His presence as 2-3 gather together in Him!

"The Lord says, 'this is a special invitation to all of you who don't have all the answers. Who struggle with life. Who are tired. Who are burned out. Who are bruised. Who struggle with grief. Come to me I will teach you how to trust. I will teach you how to learn. Walk with me, work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to trust and live with joy and freedom.'"