Read Matthew 13

Key Verse: Matthew 13:11 “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven…”

In this chapter Jesus tells one of His better-known parables, that of the sower. Most parables have only one point and they generally make it well. The major point of this one parable comes in the form of a question, “What kind of soil are you?” Only a small amount of seed which is broadcast over the ground will eventually bear good fruit. The disciples responded by asking, “Why do you speak to people in parables?” And Jesus’ answer seems to be rather strange. “It’s in order that most will not understand what I’m talking about”. In the context of the parable, however, it becomes a little clearer. The parable says that only a small percentage of those who hear will respond and bear fruit. If that is the case, then the quality teaching, the kind  of teaching that will “grow in grace and knowledge”, that will “grow from faith to faith”, is intended only for those who have ears to hear So those who are able to see will see.

Jesus was not about to waste a lot of good stuff on unreceptive hearts. He’s teaching about the kingdom here. This is not evangelism. Evangelism is the broadcasting of the seed; no question about that. But when it comes to the indepth ministry of the spirit, the parable is constructed so that only those who are members of the kingdom will have the interest and the commitment to try and get beyond the metaphor to discover, as the spirit enlightens them, what it is Jesus is really saying.

The parable of the weeds follows very naturally the parable of the sower. First of all it’s similar imagery, but secondly, in terms of what Jesus had just said about broadcasting seed and then speaking through parables, this parable of the wheat and the weeds shows us that Jesus was not about to form an exclusive club in His presentation of the kingdom. He was prepared to broadcast it generally to all men everywhere and, in fact, was prepared to allow the members of the kingdom to grow up surrounded by those who are not members. He was not about to pull His disciples out of the world and form a commune: He wanted them in the world.

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