Matthew – God’s Purposes
We all love a good story. We are drawn to great stories that make us think beyond our normal thoughts. Stories must hold our interest, must make a point, must lead to a conclusion to keep us captured in the moment. At least it’s like that for me, how about you?
Jesus, who is the Master Teacher, holds the attention of most listeners because he is also the greatest storyteller of his day (and our’s). People follow him around. He sits by the lake to ponder his challenging day of wrestling with demons and religious leaders who know who He is and want to get rid of Him. “Later that same day” relates Matthew gives us a time frame for what our Lord is going through. Does He create His stories while finding rests sitting by the lake? He must be quick about it, because people are gathering in droves to see and hear what He will do and say next.
So, he gets in a boat anchored to the shore, sits down and tells a story. The people who want to hear are mesmerized by His parable. Those who do not want to understand are confused all the more. They are afraid of what they do not understand as tradition and law.
The disciples ask Jesus why he is telling stories. My response, as a storyteller myself as a teacher is obvious to me, but Jesus responds with answers that take us all back to what God told through the prophets LONG before Jesus came to visit earth. Jesus quotes Isaiah with adding, ““But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.” NOW, disciples, “listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds.”
There will always be a reason for the story. There will always be a tie in to the listeners way of life. Jesus connects with the common people of simple faith. Jesus relates to those who seek Him with sincere hearts. Jesus opens the minds, hearts and souls of those who are ready to hear and understand and pours in Truth. He uses stories to teach us all how to love and live. Jesus teaches us the greatest of all commandments; Love God, Love Others like He loves us. If we are doing this, the stories make sense. We get it. We live it.
Matthew 13, NLT
Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed
13 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”
11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,
For they look, but they don’t really see.
They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.
14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,
‘When you hear what I say,
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’[b]
16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Parable of the Wheat and Weeds
24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
Plant the seeds of love, mercy, grace, the Truth of the Person of Jesus Christ. God will take care of the rest.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for stories of Truth that we can understand. Thank you for helping us to grow in our understanding as we follow You in our simple faith.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.