This is Episode #280 and today we’ll read Matthew chapters 13-14 together. Rocky, shallow, weed-y, good soil, sheep and goats.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #280 and today we’ll read Matthew chapters 13-14 together. Rocky, shallow, weed-y, good soil, sheep and goats.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Matthew Chapter 13
The Parable of the Sower
On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying, “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen.”
Why Jesus Used Parables
Then the disciples came up and asked him, “Why are you speaking to them in parables?”
He answered, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. That is why I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You will listen and listen,
but never understand;
you will look and look,
but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown callous;
their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears, and
understand with their hearts,
and turn back —
and I would heal them.
“Blessed are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but didn’t see them, to hear the things you hear but didn’t hear them.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
“So listen to the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. And the one sown on rocky ground — this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. But he has no root and is short-lived. When distress or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. Now the one sown among the thorns — this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But the one sown on the good ground — this is one who hears and understands the word, who does produce fruit and yields: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”
The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds
He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The landowner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he told them.
“‘So, do you want us to go and pull them up? ’ the servants asked him.
“‘No,’ he said. ‘When you pull up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but collect the wheat in my barn.’”
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven
He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and mixed into fifty pounds of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Using Parables Fulfills Prophecy
Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and he did not tell them anything without a parable, so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
I will open my mouth in parables;
I will declare things kept secret
from the foundation of the world.
Jesus Interprets the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He replied, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; and the good seed — these are the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom all who cause sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let anyone who has ears listen.
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Priceless Pearl
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Net
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Storehouse of Truth
“Have you understood all these things?”
They answered him, “Yes.”
“Therefore,” he said to them, “every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom treasures new and old.”
Rejection at Nazareth
When Jesus had finished these parables, he left there. He went to his hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does he get all these things?” And they were offended by him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Matthew Chapter 14
John the Baptist Beheaded
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus. “This is John the Baptist,” he told his servants. “He has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
For Herod had arrested John, chained him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, since John had been telling him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd since they regarded John as a prophet.
When Herod’s birthday celebration came, Herodias’s daughter danced before them and pleased Herod. So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she answered, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” Although the king regretted it, he commanded that it be granted because of his oaths and his guests. So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus.
Feeding of the Five Thousand
When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
“They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.”
“But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to him.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. Now those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Walking on the Water
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.
Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they alerted the whole vicinity and brought to him all who were sick. They begged him that they might only touch the end of his robe, and as many as touched it were healed.
You are seeing more and more quotes from the Old Testament, mostly the prophets. But you’ve seen several from Deuteronomy and Psalms. It is useful for you to check those footnotes…they will tell you the references for the quoted verses. If you are using YouVersion on your tablet, you can turn the footnotes on and off. When they are turned on, the footnotes will appear as links and take you directly to the text of the quoted verse.
Matthew 13:41 is the first place in the Gospels we read Jesus saying the phrase ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’. For just a moment, I want you to grit your teeth…maybe even add a little growl or groan. It’s obvious real fast what these words mean. Profound regret. Now add your own experiences: “I can’t believe I just missed the bus!” Grrrr… “I should have just kept my mouth shut!” Grrr… You get the picture. Now, imagine that feeling of regret multiplied 24/7/365 times infinity. That is how those who reject Christ during this lifetime will feel.
Let’s pray. Father God, my heart breaks to think that there are those who have and will reject Your gift of grace. Matthew 13:49&50 say that Your angels will separate the evil from the righteous and the evil, those without Christ, will be thrown into the blazing furnace. It’s humbling because I know there is nothing righteous in me except through Christ. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for that. Father, please use us shine Your light. Give us opportunity tell the lost about Your gift of grace. Amen
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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