Message Notes1). Intro ? In Matthew 13 Jesus gives a series of seven parables that depict events that take us through the history of the Church within this dispensation and also dealing with events leading into the Millennial Kingdom. If we want to understand where we are, why we are and what is coming next, we would do well to study these parables diligently. Today we will begin our study of the first parable ? the Parable of the Sower.
Mt 13:1 ? On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 "But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
2). The House and the Seaside
3). The events of Matthew 12
a). The ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus, the 12, the 70
Lu 4:43 but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent."
b). The religious leaders sought to discredit the message by discrediting the messenger. The attack really was on the message ? the gospel of the kingdom.
c). The signs and wonders Jesus performed were His credentials that proved the validity of His message, demonstrating the complete spiritual healing that awaited the nation upon their repentance and confirmed the identity of the messenger. To reject the sign was to reject the message, to reject the messenger and to reject the One who sent Him.
d). In Matthew Chapter 12 we find the religious leaders of Israel crossing a line from which they cannot return.
e). We find them firstly rejecting the sign of the Sabbath ?
Mt 12:9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" --that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 "Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 ? Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. (Teach this)
f). And then, just a few verses later, Mt 12:22 ? Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 "And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. 31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. 33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
e). The focus on fruit is something God had already spoken through Jeremiah - Jer 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
4). This event marks the point where the kingdom of the heavens is withdrawn from Israel. It is following this event that Jesus leaves the house and sits by the seaside and begins to speak in parables.
a). The actual announcement of this withdrawal doesn?t happen until Matthew 21, but he events of Matthew 21:19 make it clear it was a decision that had already been made - Mt 21:18 ? Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree wither away so soon?" (Teach this in relation to fruitlessness)
b). Again this was already something spoken through Jeremiah
Jer 8:13 ? "I will surely consume them," says the LORD. "No grapes shall be on the vine, Nor figs on the fig tree, And the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them."'"
5). John had told those who came to him at the Jordan - Mt 3:8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
a) As we have seen the nation, because of being misled by its religious leaders, was fruitless, barren ? and because of this the Kingdom of the Heavens is taken from them - Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
6). Now I want us to see the relationship between fruitfulness and a position of regality within the Kingdom.
7). It begins as you would expect, in the beginning - Ge 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
a). Note the relationship between being fruitful and dominion
8). At the time of the birth of the nation of Israel - Ge 35:9 Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him.
10 And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He called his name Israel. 11 Also God said to him: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 "The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land."
a). Israel = he who will rule with God
b). Note the relationship ? rulership, regality, the land
9). At the time of the restoration of Israel at the beginning of the Millennial kingdom - Jer 23:3 "But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
a). This will come as a result of repentance ? the very thing that John and Jesus preached.
10). And for ourselves we can see this - Ro 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
11). The obvious question of course is, ?what does this fruit look like??
a). Again if we were to trace this through the scriptures we should find an answer
12). Remember the association between fruitfulness and dominion with respect to Adam and the Woman.
a). They never exercised dominion because of unfaithfulness, because of disobedience to the Word of God
13). The first generation of Israel at Kadesh Barnea was unfruitful for the same reason, unfaithfulness/disobedience to the Word of God.
14). The generation of Israel at the Lord?s first coming was spiritually sick as a result of centuries of unfaithfulness and disobedience and in order to receive the Kingdom offered to them they needed to repent, to turn away from unfaithfulness and disobedience, believe what God had said and obey His commands - Joh 14:15 ? "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Joh 14:24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
a). Listen to what Jesus says that really ties the whole thing together
Joh 15:1 ? "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 ? "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
b). Abiding in Christ and fruitfulness cannot be separated from His Word and faithful obedience to His commands
c). As proverbs says - Pr 27:18 ? Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored. (Teach this)
Pr 11:30 ? The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. (Teach this)
15). What becomes inescapable as we study is that fruit is produced only in relation to the message of the Kingdom, that which surrounds regality, rulership and the marriage relationship. Note carefully what Jesus says in respect of the parable of the sower - Mt 13:18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom,
a). As we begin to study this parable we will see that we are dealing exclusively with Christians, as this is only a message that can be given to those already redeemed and that Christians ? us - find ourselves sown in the world in one of four locations. The purpose for each sowing is that we, on hearing the word of the kingdom, should produce fruit. It is how we respond to the word of the kingdom that determines the outcome for each of us, represented by the four locations.
b). Remember Jesus said the Kingdom would be given to those bearing ?the fruits of it? ? the fruits of the kingdom.
16). As we close out for this morning allow me to pray over you that which Paul prays for the Corinthian Church - 2Co 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.