Monday, May 5, 2008

Matthew, Chapter 13 part 2

Sometimes parables are hard to understand. In Friday's lesson we saw Jesus speak in parables for the first time as He spoke to the crowd on the shore. The reason that Jesus often spoke in parables is that they are easy ways to give examples that the people can relate to. What we see in the second part of Matthew 13 is that he often spoke to the crowds, but he would give further explanation of the parables to His disciples in private. The crowds, however, were left to search for the deeper meaning on their own. This was Jesus' way of getting them involved with the gospel instead of spoon-feeding it to them. Jesus knew that if people would get involved in leaning His message would have a greater effect. Those that had ears to hear would pursue this deeper meaning, but those that did not would ignore the message.

In the second part of Matthew 13 we see speaking in further parables through the Parables of the Hidden Treasure, Net, and by explaining the deeper meaning of the Parable of the Weeds to His disciples. Each lesson carries with it a strong message about the coming Kingdom of Christ. The underlying message is that we must constantly work at expanding the Kingdom because it is the most precious treasure we can receive in this life.

 44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

 45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. – Matthew 14:44-46

This is not a message that we have to sell of everything we own. Instead, it is an illustration of how we should value our salvation and the kingdom of heaven. The message that Christ is teaching us here is that we should hold the kingdom of heaven in high regard above all earthly things. We must be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to keep the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the least we can do after the sacrifice that Christ made for us. The Kingdom of Heaven hold immeasurable value, while anything we can have on this earth can have its value measured.

47"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 13:47-49

This is another perfect illustration of the world. There are certainly good fish and bad fish, but sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. Only God knows the true hearts of men, however, and that is why we see the illustration of throwing the bad fish away. We each have our chance to give ourselves to God. We will be held accountable for our own actions, and that is something that, sadly, society today does not promote. When we accept the gift of Christ's salvation through His death on the Cross we assure ourselves that we will be lumped in with the good fish.


  1. Why would Jesus not explain the parables in greater detail to the crowds?
  2. How do you value the Kingdom of Heaven?
  3. What do you see in your life that you may value more than the Kingdom of Heaven?

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