Message Notes1). Mt 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house.
a). At the conclusion of the parable of the leaven there is a commentary on Jesus use of parables, followed by His return ?into the house?, in which He gives an explanation of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the remaining three parables of this whole parabolic sequence in Matthew 13.
b). Notice three things about His use of parables
i/ ?without a parable He did not speak to them?
ii/ the fulfillment of that spoken by the prophet
iii/ ?I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.? - Ps 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,
2). Let us look at the first of these for a moment - ?without a parable He did not speak to them?
a). The reason for the Lord?s use of parables was stated earlier in the chapter - Mt 13:9 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' 16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
b). We notice that a distinction is made between ?you? the disciples to whom - it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven ? and ?them? the remainder of the nation of Israel to whom - it has not been given.
c). This is not an arbitrary distinction but one based upon faith. Notice the way He closes the first parable, which is the foundational parable, that of The Sower - "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
d). Then see what He says regarding the multitude who are hearing Him - 13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' Despite hearing the multitude don?t have ears to hear. And the reason for that is clearly stated.
I/ ?the hearts of this people have grown dull?
Ii/ ?their ears are hard of hearing?
Iii/ ?their eyes they have closed?
e). This is a condition they have brought upon themselves through their own attitude of heart in relation to the prophetic word that had been given to God?s chosen people. And remember their lack of faith is in no small part the responsibility of the religious leaders of the day, who had failed in their responsibility to prepare the people for Messiah?s coming
Mt 23:13 ? "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
3). What separates the disciples from the rest then is an individual choice to hear, believe and to follow what the Lord said.
a). Joh 6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
b). This is one of those Orpah moments where many of His disciples chose to turn back, but the twelve chose to go on even though they didn?t understand it all. But they did ?believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."?
4). And again - Mt 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
a). Notice in both John 6 and Matthew 16 what the focus of their belief is ? ?You are the Christ, the Son of the living God?- and the consequences in Matthew 16. Cf. the church
b). And also note this is an individual positive response on the part of those who have faith in this within the context of a collective generational rejection - Joh 19:15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"
5). Despite this collective rejection of the King and His Kingdom ? rejecting that which God had promised Abraham and David, and that foretold by all the prophets, there were at least 120 individuals who did have ears to hear who were gathered together in the upper room at Pentecost, not to mention Elizabeth, Zacharias, Simeon and Anna ? who may or may not have been alive at Pentecost.
6). And it is to those who believed, beginning with His disciples, that scripture records this - Lu 24:44 Lu 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
7). So it was these disciples who became Apostles, untaught and untrained in the eyes of men - Ac 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. ? Who understood the way God has given scripture ? line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little ? that all Scripture is about the person and work of Jesus Christ, who grasped the foundations understanding that Adam was a type of Him who was to come, who saw in the scriptures - things kept secret from the foundation of the world. Who took this message of the gospel of grace and the gospel of glory, and this would include the Apostle Paul, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile and then almost exclusively to the Gentiles. Ac 20:25 "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God??.. 27 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Moving from the elementary principles of Christ to maturity, from belief in Christ as the Passover Lamb to that surrounding the Melchezedeck Priesthood. And they got it because they had been given ?the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?, not only in the literal sense of an inheritance, but the keys of interpretation to understand all that scripture teaches about it ? that which is the central theme, the central message, God?s focus in His revelation to man. And it is a this point, at the inception of the Church that, that which was kept secret from the foundation of the world, was made manifest - Eph 3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,
8). However we also know from our study of the Parable of the Sower, the Wheat and Tares, the Mustard Seed and the Leaven, that this message - Mt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, - has, through the work of the enemy of our souls during the course of this dispensation, become within the Church completely corrupted so that you will hardly find it taught anywhere and where the kingdom is presented it is usually apart from the foundational truth on which it must be based, without comparing scripture with scripture, placing it in error. Everything from there is no literal kingdom to the kingdom is already here.
9). Witness that reported in the Times of London under the heading ? Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
a). Read quotations
b). Let?s not be dismissive because this is the Catholic Church, a serious distortion of the truth is also arising in the charismatic/Pentecostal section of the evangelical church.
c). Imagine my delight when I read ??.read quotation 1
d). But what we find is this ? read quotation 2 ? Lordship salvation
e). Ac 16:31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
f). And to continue ? read quotation 3
g). This ?vision? of the church in the last days is completely at odds with the plain, clear, distinct teaching of scripture given by - Re 1:1 ? The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
10). The complete church at the Judgment Seat of Christ at the end of this dispensation, represented by the seventh of the seven churches ? remembering that seven is God?s number of completeness ? is described in a way we know only too well - Re 3:17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' --and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked?
a). The solution to the situation is this - Re 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
b). And the promise to those who overcome ? who do that shown in v18 is huge - Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
c). Then note how this letter ends ? the same phrase He uses in addressing all of the churches - Re 3:22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"
11). He who has an ear, let him hear ? Is this not exactly the same phrase He used at the conclusion of the first parable in Matthew 13? The place we started today?
a). And do you remember what it was that distinguished the disciples to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, from the multitudes - but to them it has not been given? Those who had an ear to hear and those who didn?t?
b). Their belief, their faith, in Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the Living God according to the scriptures - that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me ? They understood and accepted as literal all that scripture teaches about Christ ? past, present and future. And so must we. Unless we understand Christ?s past ministry to the House of Israel and how this relates to His calling of Abraham, His present ministry as High Priest to the heirs of salvation and His future ministry as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchezideck, as it is taught by the scriptures, as literal events, we will find ourselves shipwrecked in a sea of error. Just as we have seen today with regard to both the Catholic and Protestant churches.
a). The Disciples was an individual belief amidst a collective rejection caused by a self inflicted collective deafness and blindness
12). And what do we find in scripture concerning the church in respect of this?
a). 2Co 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. Even now there are those, the majority of the church, and especially its leadership who seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
b). Heb 5:10 ? called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Notice that they have become dull of hearing ? they weren?t always that way.
c). It is exactly the same. We find within Christendom a chilling parallel to the situation in Israel at Christ?s first coming.
d). And now, as then, there will need to be an individual response to the Word of God that will most assuredly fly in the face of main stream religion whether it be conservative or liberal - Re 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Teach this)
13). And I am mindful even today as we have been studying and continue to study the parables in Matthew 13 that it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven ? things kept secret from the foundation of the world - if we will have ears to hear
a). Who can measure the importance of what God has taught us regarding the Lord?s return?
2Pe 3:8 ? But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 ? The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
1Co 3:13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Ro 8:17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.
Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
1Pe 1:9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
14). And I again feel impressed to challenge us in respect of complacency, lethargy and familiarity. If any of these have crept into our attitude towards the good news that God has made known to us, let us be encouraged to remove them remembering - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
a). Overflow of wickedness ? from a word meaning earwax. If we allow ourselves to become lethargic, complacent and familiar to the point where what we hear becomes commonplace, our ears also will become dull of hearing. If this has happened then let the cotton bud of repentance root out that wax and let us hear again what the Spirit is saying
b). Let us encourage ourselves by seeing the attitude of those at the start of the church. Those here this morning who have the role of priest in your home please take especial note - Remember - Ac 2:42 ? And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers?46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
15). And finally remember the Lord?s words to His disciples
16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: (The Wheat and Tares ? The Mustard Seed ? The Leaven ? The Treasure ? The Pearl ? The Dragnet) ? Have everyone repeat v16-17 making it personal.
a). Would we give thanks and praise for this?
16). So Christ is now back inside the house. It is here He gives the explanation of the Wheat and Tares and the three remaining parables, beginning with that of the Treasure. And that?s where we will go next week if God permits.