Saturday, February 26, 2011

Who Decides?

Jesus is telling stories.
Stories with a purpose.

The Kingdom of Heaven, he says, is like a field in some ways. There may be weeds in with the good seed.

Who decides which ones are weeds and which ones are wheat?
Well - their look and function make them pretty obvious. They aren't interested in what God is interested in. They don't act like people of the kingdom.

So, who should decide which ones are wheat, and which ones are weeds? Read on...

Matthew 13:24 "Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Let God decide.
He is the only one who knows the inside of a person. He knows the heart. He knows true motivations. He is the only righteous judge of good and evil.

Let Him decide...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Teaching from a boat

Lots of people wanted to see and hear Jesus at this point. Today he got in a boat, and taught from there...

Matthew 13:1 "That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore."

Sound carries very well over water. There is a natural carrying and even amplifying effect. He taught a long time...

3 "Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

This is a very natural story. Understood both visually and practically by everyone that heard it. We still understand it today. The miracle of the seed. A kernel of corn will grow a hundred or more kernels, when sowed and planted.

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them."

As always, Jesus was dealing in more than one plane. Both the physical, earthly plane; but also in the spiritual, supernatural plane.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!

A seemingly simple request to Jesus brings a very hard response!

Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here."

This question, this request, came after Jesus drove a demon out of a man who was both blind and mute. The demon left, and the man was healed. He had just given them an amazing sign.

The people were astonished, and began to wonder, out loud, if this Jesus really was the Messiah, the Anointed One, the long promised redeemer of Israel.

After this astonishing miracle, the religious leaders ask for a sign. Jesus said to them, "You have more than enough signs, but you have hard hearts and do not believe..."

Then Jesus gives us some fascinating insight into the unseen world.

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

So - A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!