Matthew – God’s Purposes
Have I got a story for you! These are typically my opening words as I teach each day. It doesn’t matter what the topic of the day is, there is nearly always a story attached to illustrate the facts that they need to know so they can keep learning. Teachers know that we get our students attention quicker with a story rather than just dishing out facts. We also know it explains the facts. AND it’s more fun to tell stories that relate to the explanation of truth. Where do we get this skill? Who invented this way of teaching? From the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord!
We learn from the commentary of Warren Weirsbe this morning the reason Jesus taught with “alongside” story illustrations called parables:
“Why did Jesus teach in parables? Two reasons were given: because of the sluggishness of the people (Matt. 3:10–17) and because it was prophesied in Psalm 78:2 (Matt. 13:34–35). Jesus did not teach in parables to confuse or condemn the people. Rather, He sought to excite their interest and arouse their curiosity. These
parables would give light to those with trusting, searching hearts. But they would bring darkness to the unconcerned and unrepentant.”
Wiersbe goes on to give us the key to spiritual development in Christ through the “come alongside” parables:
“They must be disciples who do the truth. Therefore every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven” is a more accurate translation of Matthew 13:52. The scribe emphasizes learning, but the disciple emphasizes living. Disciples are doers of the Word (James 1:22ff.), and they learn by doing.”
“It is difficult to keep our lives balanced. We often emphasize learning at the expense of living. Or, we may get so busy serving God that we do not take time to listen to His Word. Every scribe must be a disciple, and every disciple must be a scribe.”
“They must be stewards who dispense the truth. The scribes preserved the law but did not invest it in the lives of the people. The treasure of the law was encrusted by man’s traditions. The seed was not planted so it could bear fruit. The “spiritual gold and silver” was not put to work so it could produce dividends. As Christians we should be conservative but not preservative.”
Matthew 13, NLT
Parable of the Fishing Net
47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. 48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. 49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, 50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 Do you understand all these things?”
“Yes,” they said, “we do.”
52 Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
The professing church today has in it both true and false believers (the parable of the tares) and good and bad. At the end of the age, God will separate the true believers from the false and the good from the bad.
Do we know the Truth? Does our behavior show that we know what we know? Do live the Truth? Do we get so busy serving that we feel we do not need to learn more? How balanced are we?
Who do we follow? Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Jesus is not hidden. He is in plain view of all who open their hearts, minds and souls and allow Him to enter in. Do we hide what we know by keeping our knowledge of Jesus to ourselves?
As believers, we do not search after truth, because we have truth in God’s Son (John 14:6) and God’s Word (John 17:17). We are taught by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13) who is truth (1 John 5:6). We search into truth that we might discover more truth.
We are scribes—students—who sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His words. One joy of the Christian life is the privilege of learning God’s truth from God’s Word.
But we must not stop there. We must LIVE Truth.
Thank you for teaching us Truth. Thank you for your unchanging Truth, relentless love, full of grace and mercy for your created. We know there will be a reckoning when all the false fish will be cast aside. Cleanse me. Don’t let anything dwell in me that offends you. Continue to teach me and help me to grow. Give me boldness to stand firm in Truth and live it according to Your Word.
In Jesus Name, Amen